Be With by Mike Barnes

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Be With by Mike Barnes

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Quick Overview

Poet Mike Barnes has spent years caring for his mother, Mary, through the stages of moderate, severe, very severe and late-stage Alzheimer’s. In this eloquent series of letters, addressed to an anonymous long-term dementia carer, he transforms his own increasingly challenging experience into a wellspring of clarity and understanding, support and solace. ‘Timely, lyrical, tough, accurate, and ultimately not (too) depressing. Or as my aunts used to say, Roll up your sleeves.’ Margaret Atwood


This compelling personal story unfolds a side of dementia almost entirely missing from public discussion. Calming and contemplative yet fiercely alive, Mike Barnes’ consoling, humane and surprisingly uplifting book balances candour about the devastations of dementia with insights into the ways in which it calls forth capacities long-buried by the defences of full cognition.

Addressed to carers but relevant and deeply important for us all, Be With encourages us to focus on fellowship and accurate witness: to simply be with who, and what, is actually before us.

‘My heart lodged in my throat and my eyes stayed glassy... This is a lovely, loving and unflinching work reflecting on an awful, inexorable illness. Physician offices would do well by stocking copies’ Toronto Star, ‘A book that tells the reader that you are not alone, whoever you are’ Kirkus Reviews, ‘A friendly, authoritative voice in the dark that will lead its at-the-end-of-their-tether listeners through to the endgame’ Literary Review of Canada.

About the author: Mike Barnes is an award-winning author whose stories have appeared twice in Best Canadian Stories, three times in The Journey Prize Anthology, and won the Silver Medal for Fiction at the National Magazine Awards. He lives in Toronto.

Paperback Length: 148 Pages Language: English Publisher: Myriad Editions Size: 17.8cm x 11.2cm
Additional Info

Additional Information

ISBN 978-1-77196-243-8
Supplier Myriad
Values and causes Myriad

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