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'Sinister dementia' inspired shortlisted book

2nd November 2009

An author has revealed how she decided to turn her journal into a book to lay bare the realities of dementia.

Scotland-based journalist Andrea Gillies told the Sheffield Star that she started writing a diary to make sense of her experience of looking after her dementia-suffering mother-in-law Nancy and then decided to publish it as a book entitled Keeper.

'Dementia is a sinister and science fiction state of affairs that causes your memory, your identity and your sense of self to go,' she explained.

Gillies added that her mother-in-law lost her grasp on the real world and thought she was either in her childhood or her late 20s, which ended up affecting the whole family.

'In the end we had to live in her reality, which ultimately questioned our own sense of truth,' she told the newspaper.

Keeper has since been nominated for the GBP 25,000 Wellcome Trust Book Prize, which recognises works of fiction and non-fiction that examine medicine, illness or health.

Other titles competing for the award - the winner of which will be announced on November 4th - include Illness by Havi Carel and Brian Dillon's Tormented Hope.

Allegra Goodman's Intuition, Three Letter Plague by Jonny Steinberg and Abraham Verghese's Cutting for Stone are the remaining books on the shortlist.

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