Andrea Gillies biography

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Andrea Gillies
Photo: Chris Watts

Andrea Gillies

Andrea Gillies Biography

Andrea Gillies is the author of three books: the novel The Enlightenment of Nina Findlay (2014), the novel The White Lie (2012), and the non-fiction book Keeper, which won the Wellcome Book Prize 2009 and the Orwell Book Prize 2010.

Andrea Gillies was born in York and currently lives in Edinburgh.

Andrea Gillies's website

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Interview

Andrea Gillies, author of Keeper, writes a letter to readers about caring for a family member with dementia.

Dear Reader,

When I was a carer of someone with Alzheimer's disease, my mother-in-law Nancy, I thought the fact that I'm a natural consumer of printed word, a gobbler of books and print information, would help me with my new role. I went out looking for guidance. Perhaps it was bad luck, but the books that I found in my local bookshop were of the kind that reassure a carer that all will be well with the right approach: that, in effect, the happiness or otherwise of the person with dementia is down to the right kind of handling.

I've learned that this is nonsense. Dementias are unlike any other kind of disease in being diseases of Selfhood. The physical progress of Alzheimer's through the brain, robbing a person first of memory and then of the autobiographical basis of identity, is to blame for the unhappiness that Alzheimer's brings. It's often thought that memory is a vault, an archive that we can visit, but the truth is that it's a process, an orchestral process fuelled by millions of co-operative neurons working together. 'Self,' the experience of self, self-knowledge, is likewise a process and not something fixed. It is constantly being made and remade—and so it can be unmade. Consciousness isn't just ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Andrea Gillies at BookBrowse
Keeper jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Andrea Gillies but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Dana Buchman

    Dana Buchman

    Dana Buchman's eponymous line of women's fashion is one of the most widely distributed designer labels in the country, appearing in every major department store. Buchman lives in New York City with her husband, Tom Farber, ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Keeper

    Try:
    A Special Education
    by Dana Buchman

  • Edwidge Danticat

    Edwidge Danticat

    Since the publication of her debut work Breath, Eyes, Memory in 1994, Edwidge Danticat has won praise as one of America's brightest, most graceful and vibrant young writers. In this novel, and in her National Book ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Keeper

    Try:
    Brother, I'm Dying
    by Edwidge Danticat

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