My preceding novel “LOTH’S WOMAN“ was well received by both the public and the literary chroniclers. I wrote it in 1980, 12 years ago, and in all these years I have matured. “MY NAME IS ALZHEIMER“ is a result of this process. My publisher, who read both works, was impressed. The novel will plead its cause by itself. I realize how many people suffer from this disease in the United States and I can imagine the interest my book may arise. Only in a tiny country like Israel, according to records, there are 30,000 Alzheimer cases.
The publisher of this book will bring out a success not only because the work in itself is of value but also because the topic is in the constant attention of the press, television, the media in general.
The courts in Israel debated the case of a woman who asked to be allowed to die if she lost her mind. The case got large publicity because of its emotional character. It ended up in the Supreme Court and, because the woman was suffering from Alzheimer, her husband was permitted to disconnect the life-sustaining system.
The purpose of writing this book was not money, I wanted to be of some help to people, I felt it was my duty to write it.
During the fall-winter period while I wrote my novel, I felt so overwhelmed by the amount of suffering people can go through that I found it hard to come back to the normal universe with its everyday problems, with potatoes that had to be boiled and shirts that had to be pressed, but I also found hard meeting with friends, reading a book, talking with my children and grand-children.
Tonight I will go to Haifa to attend a prize-awarding ceremony. I was told that I will get the Haifa-city prize for literature in the Romanian language, then I will be interviewed for the local radio and I also hope a small volume of poetry will come out this fall. So, I have been lucky.
“MY NAME IS AlZHEIMER” came out of my wish to be of some help to the families of those suffering from this disease.
In 1973, the first strange signs appeared. My husband was 50 at that time and he had recovered from a heart attack which he had gone through at the age of 37. The book describes our family’s life, step by step, with the implacable evolution of the disease, with the desperate efforts of both mother and wife of finding solutions where there was none.
The value of this book lies in the fact that it tries to convey to others the experience accumulated in this tragic endeavour, in the fact that in spite of the harsh circumstances the family stays united, creating a protective environment for both the patient and for themselves.
By accepting this terrible reality, which cannot be averte, by lucidly studying the data of the problem, the members of the family help one another survive. The book brings up the idea of a living human chain which links together the few that deserve to be called People.
The book is meant for the large public, it is the contemporary novel of any family, inspired not from documentation in a library but written by someone that lived through this tragedy, by a writer with a rich literary activity, whose works enjoyed success.
The keen insight, so natural for any writer, was doubled by the scientific curiosity of someone working hard to find out about the mysteries of the brain activity, to look for and even discover logical explanations for every new development.
The characters are not a creation of the writer and so they go on with their life, thoughts, fears, hopes and moments of sadness, all of them seen through the eyes in tears of the poet, who had been deadly wounded but who has never ceased to aspire to beauty and understanding.