Praise

"A sparse yet deeply affecting, poetic story of love and devotion, THE LONG HELLO is a memoir about caring for a mother with Alzheimer’s, a collection of conversations and memories revealing moments of clarity, absurdity, wisdom, and connection that pierce and heal the heart."

- Lisa Genova, best-selling author of Still Alice

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"Ordinary writers are able to describe the surface of things. Great writers take readers inside of the human experience in ways that can, and often do, bring life changing insights. Cathie Borrie is a great writer and her exploration of the life with Alzheimers is deep, rich, nuanced and soulful."

- Dr. Bill Thomas, author of Second Wind

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"Ebullient, feisty, vulnerable, and dumbstruck by the circumstances of her life, Cathie Borrie uses the magic lens of her mother’s Alzheimer’s disease to examine her role of dutiful daughter. With her theatrical sense of timing, her training as a nurse and her skill as a poet, Borrie writes a page-turner memoir of a whole family in The Long Hello: her brother’s tragic early death, her birth father’s alcoholism, her stepfather’s money and sense of duty, her mother’s lust for a life of her own as a housewife. With quick cuts and fast sentences Borrie snaps you up in a tale of a wicked boarding school, a vulnerable girl, a daughter’s identity emerging as a mother’s self fragments. Miraculously, Borrie both replicates her mother’s thinking and used it as a threshold into her own remembering. I read this book right straight through, with all the other things I had to do standing at attention for The Long Hello."

- Molly Peacock, author of Alphabetique: 26 Characteristic Fictions

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"Groundbreaking . . . creates an ideological sea change in how you view Alzheimer’s."

- Francesca Rosenberg, Director, Community and Access Programs, MoMA, New York City

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"An honest and real look into the conflicting and complex feelings of a caregiving daughter, and the soul of a relationship that endures despite the challenges of cognitive loss. Cathie and her mother remain a blue-ribbon winning team. Caregivers will recognize themselves both in the mix of light moments of connection, and in the darker, unspeakable, intolerable emotions. Professionals will experience the exhausting, all-encompassing, exquisitely detailed demands of caring for a parent who is both no longer the same and at the same time in very profound and real ways, is. Cathie Borrie finds poetry in her mother’s language, and teaches us all important lessons about the human experience of caring. "

- Jed A. Levine, Executive Vice President & Director, Programs and Services, Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders, New York City, Inc.

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Additional Praise

"A raw and exquisite dance of two minds . . . a breakthrough of a book."

- Lynn Jackson, diagnosed with early-stage dementia

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"What is real is irrelevant in the world of a loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s. Cathie Borrie captures the familiar cadence of repetition and the bizarre, yet touching conversations we share. We must live in their reality if we are to comfort them and Cathie shows us how it can be done with love."

- Meryl Comer, author of Slow Dancing with a Stranger: Lost and Found in the Age of Alzheimer’s; President, Geoffrey Beene Foundation Alzheimer’s Initiative; Emmy-award winning reporter; producer, moderator, talk show host; caregiver; Alzheimer’s Association Board Member

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"Some books simply must exist and this is one of them. In this fable-like memoir we encounter the fierce loyalty of a mother and daughter refusing the isolation of Alzheimer’s. Inside their conversations we encounter a unique voice in memoir. The voice of a mother now unfettered by grammar and propriety: a candid, poetic, and surprisingly thought-provoking voice. In turn, we encounter a daughter taking her own liberties to reconstruct the abandoned, dead-ended family stories of which she is becoming the sole survivor."

- Betsy Warland, author of Breathing the Page: Reading the Act of Writing

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"Cathie Borrie writes beautifully—her economy of words and wealth of style puts the literary into the emerging genre of AlzLit. The Long Hello is honest, sensitive and poignant. Two sides, two women . . . intertwined. Effortlessly, we enter both their worlds—her mother’s, swirling in her dementia between earthliness and etherealness, and Cathie’s, dancing to the end with her mother and with herself. Borrie shows us that even when shadows gather, there is beauty and music within."

- Henry Brodaty, author of Physical Comorbidities of Dementia; Professor of Ageing and Mental Health; Director, the Dementia Collaborative Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Australia

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"I have spent the last day immersed in The Long Hello. I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to be brought into the remarkable lives portrayed poetically and with raw honesty within these pages. It reminded me that amidst the pain and suffering, loss and grief that surround the experience of caring for a loved one with memory loss, there can still be joy, sustaining connections, deep love, and possibilities for seeing and being in new ways. If only we all had that capacity!"

- Sherry Dupuis, Ph.D. Director, Murray Alzheimer Research and Education Program, Schlegel-UW Research Institute on Aging Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, University of Waterloo.

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"A moving, lyrical piece about Cathie Borrie’s experience with her mother’s Alzheimer’s, in which she recasts the “long goodbye” of the disease as the “long hello” of newly developing understandings and a poetic relationship to language."

- Michael Bennett, author of Democratic Discourses: The Radical Abolition Movement and Antebellum American Literature. Professor of English, Long Island University, Brooklyn

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"A masterpiece . . . An absorbing and fascinating account, beautifully written and of value to all engaged in the care of Alzheimer’s patients—from care-giving relatives to those providing medical and social services to the ever-growing number of patients."

- Dr. D. A. Henderson, author of Smallpox: Death of a Disease. Professor of Medicine and Public Health, University of Pittsburgh; University Distinguished Service Professor and Dean Emeritus, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; former director of the World Health Organization’s Smallpox Eradication Program

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"Pitch perfect. The Long Hello is poignant, personal, and in many ways profound. As her story weaves between her life as a young girl being cared for by her mother and her adult life as a caregiver for her mother with Alzheimer’s, we see unimagined parallels and witness extraordinarily moving moments in the interactions between mother and daughter. The poetic cadences of their conversations are by turns humorous, unsettling, comforting, and deep; one senses a marvelous dance or an intriguing improvisation unfolding before one’s eyes. The author has given us a vivid sense of the frustrations one faces in caring for a person with dementia, but she has also revealed, in and through her mother, a beautifully poetic sensibility and a mind full of wonder, curiosity, and keen observation."

- Dr. Charles Morrison, Dean of Music (1999–2010) Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario

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"The Long Hello is an amazing neo-existentialist vision, profoundly layered with love, death, agony, exquisite language, loneliness, and more love. I was overwhelmed by the filmic, sensuous imagery, the emotional force of such a raw interweaving of past and present. From somewhere (out t)here, Cathie Borrie has created a book of shimmering truth, a narrative of a life lived where we are, and a life lived on “the other side of here.”"

- Christian Xatrec, Artist; Director of the Emily Harvey Foundation, NYC

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"We are all dancers, whether secret or declared, moving to the ever-changing rhythmic tides and tensions of the human experience. In The Long Hello Cathie Borrie choreographs the changes in her mother’s memory into a new way to see and be, illustrating the iridescent and persistent intelligence of the mind and the limitless wonder of our imagination. As dancers must do, she learns to release the choreography of the past and dance new steps to the shifting tune of her mother’s journey through Alzheimer’s, discovering an unexpected metaphor for her experience in the beauty of bodies in motion, made possible through the ability to love."

- Elaine Summers, Fulbright Scholar; MIT Fellow; pioneering choreographer and intermedia artist; original member of the Judson Dance Theater, NYC

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"The Long Hello is not a how-to book, but is filled with insights that will be of interest to caregivers and their families. Lyrical and evocative, it is about remembering and forgetting, presence and absence, holding on and letting go. Above all it is about love, courage, and strength. Cathie Borrie is a gifted storyteller, and she has written a memorable book about love and loss."

- Jeffrey Berman, author of Dying to Teach: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Learning. Distinguished Teaching Professor of English at the State University of New York.

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