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The Story of My Father

In the spring of 1986, Sue Miller found herself more and more deeply involved in caring for her father as he slipped into the grasp of Alzheimer's disease. "The Story of My Father" is a profound, deeply moving account of her father's final days and her own response to it. With care, restraint and consummate skill, Miller writes of her struggles to be fully with her father in his illness while confronting her own terror of abandonment, and eventually the long, hard work of grieving for him. And through this candid, painful record, she offers a rigorous, compassionate inventory of two lives, a powerful meditation on the variable nature of memory and the difficulty of weaving a truthful narrative from the threads of a dissolving life. This is a truly remarkable book from one of America's best loved authors.
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Promotional Information

Huge marketing and publicity campaign For all fans of Blake Morrison's And When Did You Last See Your Father? By the author of The World Below and While I was Gone


About the Author

Sue Miller is the bestselling author of Inventing the Abbotts, The Good Mother, Family Pictures, For Love, The Distinguished Guest, While I Was Gone, and The World Below.and is one of America's biggest-selling authors.


Miller's first nonfiction book (after While I Was Gone; The World Below; etc.), about caring for her Alzheimer's-afflicted father, is a rare example of an illness memoir with widespread appeal. Prospective readers need not have any interest in Alzheimer's; they need only have parents of their own to appreciate this testimony's dignity and grace. Miller's father, James Nichols, started showing signs of dementia in 1986, when he was picked up by the police after ringing a stranger's doorbell in the middle of the night, announcing he was lost. Miller's careful recounting of James's slow demise and progression through the various stages of an assisted living community are punctuated by pleasant memories and even humor, e.g., when James, a retired religious scholar, assesses his surroundings and comments, "No one ever seems to graduate from here." As she recalls childhood stories and family memories, Miller simultaneously offers a memoir of her own development as a writer. "[T]his is the hardest lesson... for a caregiver: you can never do enough to make a difference in the course of the disease," Miller writes. "We always find ourselves deficient in devotion.... Did you visit once a week? you might have visited twice. Oh, you visited daily? but perhaps he would have done better if you'd kept him at home. In the end all those judgments, those self-judgments, are pointless. This disease is inexorable, cruel. It scoffs at everything." 11 photos. BOMC alternate. (Mar. 19) Forecast: Miller's popularity among women readers of literary works-many whom are probably dealing with aging parents themselves-could shoot this one onto bestseller lists, and Knopf shouldn't have trouble selling out its 75,000 first printing. Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.

'Beautifully written and moving ... Every relative of an Alzheimer's patient feels this guilt, here painfully anatomised ... The Story of My Father is the best book of its genre I have ever read' Sunday Telegraph 'Much more than a memoir, her book is an exploration of the nature of self and an extraordinary testament to an extraordinary love' Independent 'A cool, lucid, often painfully frank account ... remarkable for its honesty and courage, and for the muted gallantry with which its subject met the loss of everything that made him human' Daily Telegraph 'You do not need an interest in Alzheimer's to be moved by this. You just need to have a parent you love' The Times Play Magazine

As her father succumbs to Alzheimer's, Miller examines both his life and her own. The popular novelist will launch her first book-length piece of nonfiction with a seven-city tour. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

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