THE LONG HELLO
Memory, my Mother, and Me
A powerful, ground-shifting account of caring for a parent with Alzheimer’s
about which Maya Angelou exclaimed, “Joy!”
Since Cathie Borrie delivered her keynote performance at the World Alzheimer’s Day event sponsored by the Community and Access Programs of the Museum of Modern Art, her self-published manuscript has won rapturous praise from noted writers and Alzheimer’s experts alike, from Maya Angelou, Lisa Genova, and Molly Peacock to Dr. Bill Thomas, Jed A. Levine of the Alzheimer’s Association, NYC, and Meryl Comer of the Geoffrey Beene Foundation Alzheimer’s Initiative. Now it is available to the general public for the first time in a trade edition.
The Long Hello distills the seven years the author spent caring for her mother into a page-turning memoir that offers insight into the “altering world of the dementia mind.” During that time, Borrie recorded brief conversations she had with her mother that revealed the transformations within—and sometimes yielded an almost Zenlike poetry. She includes selections from them in chapters about her experience that are as evocative as diary entries. Her mother was the emotional pillar and sometime breadwinner in a home touched by a birth father’s alcoholism, a brother’s early death, divorce, and a stepfather’s remoteness. In Borrie’s spare prose, her mother’s story becomes a family’s story as well a deeply loving portrait that embraces life.
Praise for The Long Hello
"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."~
"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."~
"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."~
"Groundbreaking . . . creates an ideological sea change in how you view Alzheimer’s."~
Stage Adaptation of The Long Hello
Cathie and co-playwright James Fagan Tait have adapted The Long Hello for the stage. This two-person, one-act play is currently under review by theatres in Canada and the USA.
Marilyn Biderman Literary Management