For me, a good book has the ability to transport me to another place. I often find myself escaping within the pages to another world created by the author.
Through these literary travels, I have often experienced emotions and gained previously unknown information. When a talented author uses their abilities to spotlight a necessary topic, I find this truly exceptional.
Such an author is Lisa Genova.
She is the author of the best-selling Still Alice, a novel about Alzheimer’s disease, and she has now written Inside the O’Briens.
Genova’s latest novel is a story about a family affected by Huntington’s disease.
In an interview with The Huffington Post, she states she hopes her latest work can bring the attention to Huntington’s disease that Still Alice did for Alzheimer’s disease. Still Alice was made into an Oscar award winning movie starring Julianne Moore.
Huntington’s disease is an inherited disease that causes the death of brain cells. It progresses from mild mood and mental changes to profound physical impairments, dementia and death.
The effects of this disease are so devastating that it is estimated that as high as 9% of deaths are caused by suicide. There is no treatment or no cure. A child of a parent with Huntington’s disease has a 50% chance of inheriting the disease. This in itself puts strain on family and individuals faced with Huntington’s disease, only magnifying its effects.
Though there are some medications available to help minimize some symptoms, the benefits vary and but the deadly progression is inevitable. Research is underway, but more answers are needed.
This is why, the attention Lisa Genova’s novel Inside the O’Briens can generate is so important.
Genova is not only an author, but a neuroscientist and has taken this crusade worldwide to generate much-needed attention to this widely unknown but crippling disease.
Through the power of her written word, the hope is Huntington’s disease can gain much-needed focus from a much larger audience.