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The Last Ocean: A Journey Through Memory and Forgetting Audiobook, by Nicci Gerrard Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Nicci Gerrard Narrator: Nicci Gerrard Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2019 ISBN: 9781984888679
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From the award-winning journalist and author, a lyrical, raw and humane investigation of dementia that explores both the journeys of the people who live with the condition and those of their loved ones

After a diagnosis of dementia, Nicci Gerrard’s father, John, continued to live life on his own terms, alongside the disease. But when an isolating hospital stay precipitated a dramatic turn for the worse, Gerrard, an award-winning journalist and author, recognized that it was not just the disease, but misguided protocol and harmful practices that cause such pain at the end of life. Gerrard was inspired to seek a better course for all who suffer because of the disease. 

The Last Ocean is Gerrard’s investigation into what dementia does to both the person who lives with the condition and to their caregivers. Dementia is now one of the leading causes of death in the West, and this necessary book will offer both comfort and a map to those walking through it. While she begins with her father’s long slip into forgetting, Gerrard expands to examine dementia writ large. Gerrard gives raw but literary shape both to the unimaginable loss of one’s own faculties, as well as to the pain of their loved ones. Her lens is unflinching, but Gerrard honors her subjects and finds the beauty and the humanity in their seemingly diminished states. 

In so doing, she examines the philosophy of what it means to have a self, as well as how we can offer dignity and peace to those who suffer with this terrible disease. Not only will it aid those walking with dementia patients, The Last Ocean will prompt all of us to think on the nature of a life well lived. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • This is a tender, lyrical, profound, urgent book . . . Gerrard has penned a treatise on what it is to be human Yasmin Alibhai-Brown
  • Revelatory and moving… carr[ies] both an emotional and a philosophical charge… A beacon of a book amid a sea of darkness. Kirkus, starred review
  • [Gerrard’s] powerful and beautifully written book takes the reader on a poignant voyage. The Guardian 
  • Immensely powerful . . . an incisive and compelling read . . . [Gerrard] has an elegant yet devastating turn of phrase. The Sunday Times
  • Essential reading about love, life, and care Kate Mosse, author of Labyrinth
  • Nicci Gerrard exudes understanding of the breadth, scale and complexity of the dementias and the challenges they pose for society. Yet she communicates simply, personally and practically as if speaking individually to each of us Sebastian Crutch Professor of Neuropsychology, Dementia Research Centre, University College London
  • Nicci Gerrard writes with power, insight, empathy and extraordinary beauty about the world of dementia . . . and demonstrates how we can address the fear, despair and ignorance that has accompanied its spread Paul Webster, editor of the Observer
  • Gerrard ranges widely and wisely, raising questions about what it is to be human and facing truths too deep for tears Blake Morrison, author of And When Did You Last See Your Father?
  • Evocative and powerful, shining a light on a world which is often hidden and misunderstood Jane Cummings, Chief Nursing Officer for England
  • Gerrard writes beautifully, encyclopedically, and with humanity Nicholas Timmins, honorary fellow of Royal College of Physicians
  • Nobody has written on dementia as well as Nicci Gerrard in this new book. Kind, knowing and infinitely useful Andrew Marr

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About the Author

Nicci Gerrard is a writer and campaigner, a celebrated novelist and recipient of the 2016 Orwell Prize for Journalism 'Exposing Britain's Social Evils'. This work grew out of her father's death from dementia in 2014 and her belief that the disease, its impact on individuals, families and wider society, needs light thrown upon it in order to improve the experience and support of those affected. Nicci Gerrard is also co-founder of John's Campaign, named after her father, which has campaigned to give carers of those with dementia the same rights as parents of children to accompany them in hospital. Recognised by NHS policy makers, by charities, by nurses and doctors and carers, almost every hospital across the U.K. has now signed up.