Erwin Mortier is a Flemish writer, whose work is sadly little known in the Anglosphere, but thanks to Pushkin Press that is changing. Erwin's literary style is unorthodox, always merging a diverse roster of themes to create stories that are deep with emotion. He has been dubbed the voice of his generation.
This weekend, tens of thousands of people will be flocking to the cinema to see Still Alice with Julianne Moore portraying a woman with early onset Alzheimer's. They'll undoubtedly be able to identify and sympathise with what's happening on the screen because even if dementia is not directly affecting them...
I've nothing against our girls, who were both outstanding, but if Moore repeats her successes in the Golden Globes and Baftas, something very dear to my heart could become more talked about, in better ways, and less misunderstood and stigmatised. I'm thinking of dementia, which affects 850,000 of us in the UK and over five million Americans.
When my mum died after a long fight with Alzheimer's, grief threw me an opportunity to consider her legacy to me, and my three daughters. A friend said to me, "We all leave our shadow behind". So what is my mum's shadow? What will mine be to my darling daughters so they have what they need to thrive in the modern world?
You are stuck in a busy, noisy, unfamiliar building. You are unsure of where you are or even what time of year it is. All the corridors look the same. You find it hard to judge how far away the floor is. You can't remember where the toilets are. You can't remember why you're here. You feel a rising sense of panic as you search for clues to where you are, and even who you are.