About the Author
Dana Walrath-an anthropologist, artist, and writer-is on the
faculty of the University of Vermont College of Medicine and the
author of Like Water on Stone. Learn more about her work
"Sometimes funny, sometimes heart-breaking, each comic weaves in a
different facet of [Dana and Alice's] shared experience:
hallucinations, repetition, memory, loss, magic, and sometimes even
-Meredith Rizzo, NPR Shots
"A deeply moving, informative, and funny memoir by a woman watching
her mother's descent into Alzheimer's disease. The collaged
drawings are a perfect counterpoint to the writing."
-Roz Chast, author of Can't We Talk About Something More
"I am grateful for creators like Walrath . . . who make art from
experiences like those my patients face. Their works remind us
that, even during the throes of illness or grief, when the air is
filled with questions, fear, and sadness, there are slivers of time
and space where room can be made for wonder."
-Lynda Montgomery, Los Angeles Review of Books
"Walrath offers an anthropological method for dealing with the
disease. Observing Alice as if she belongs to an unfamiliar
culture, Walrath relates to her in ways that respect her alternate
reality. Her stories are mostly lighthearted; her drawings are
whimsical, magical, surreal."
-LaVonne Neff, The Christian Century
"Dana Walrath's images evoke Alice in a way that text alone cannot,
creating a symbiotic relationship between text and image in this
work. Walrath's style is gentle and specific, naive and yet quite
sophisticated about the past and the present."
-MK Czerwiec, coauthor of Graphic Medicine Manifesto
"Dana Walrath's approach to memoir is unique in that she twists
together multiple forms-the personal essay, drawings, collage. This
approach, which offers the equivalent of memory snapshots presented
from different angles, suggests value in appreciating the moment
over the supposed stability of the traditional narrative trajectory
of beginning, middle, end. Aliceheimer's
echoes the spots of
memory that are part of the Alzheimer's experience and presents
end-of-life care in an original and ultimately comforting way."
-Mita Mahato, University of Puget Sound
] offers a brand-new looking glass into
Alzheimer's-one that, like Carroll's mirror, displays a parallel
world rather than our own. Walrath dared to follow Alice down the
rabbit hole of the disease and emerged with a courageous depiction
of a fascinating world below."
-Nancy Stearns Bercaw, Seven Days
"Thoughtful, exploratory, and deeply loving. . . . A book about
living with Alzheimer's that gives voice to both caretaker and,
insofar as is possible, patient. In this dialogue, illustration
helps Alice's actual words subvert empathic inaccuracy, and
challenge our fears."
-Emily Wojcik, Massachusetts Review
"Original in its collage approach, and buoyant in its message of
how to 'bring back the humanity of a person with dementia'. . . .
is a story about the possibility to find
quality of life in dementia caregiving; the possibility to see
Alzheimer's disease as creating a new self, a self that can be
lived with and written about up to the moment when we feel
threatened in our own self."
-Martina Zimmermann, Medical Humanities
"The world is so lucky that Walrath took on this 'hard job' of
working through the 'unfinished business' with her mother. The raw
honesty in the images and words bring humanity to the disease so
often talked about in catastrophic terms."
-Erin Partridge, Graphic Medicine