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Turn of Mind by Alice LaPlante
  

Sue Baker's view...

Winner of the the Wellcome Trust Book Prize 2011.

Alice LaPlante imagines herself into the mind of an Alzheimer’s sufferer. Any number of non-fiction books can give you symptoms and describe the illness but it takes a gifted and intuitive author to get inside, to show us what it must be like for the sufferer. Part of the value of the Mind Prize is that it accepts both fiction and non-fiction and this year’s worthy winner, Turn of Mind is both a strongly plotted murder mystery and a revelatory exploration of a disease such as Alzheimer’s.

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Vivienne Parry, Chair of the judging panel said:
‘Technically daring, Turn of Mind tells a gripping story in the voice of someone actually afflicted with Alzheimer’s and emphatically confirms the ability of literature to tell us more about the heart and soul of an illness than any text book. Hats off to Alice LaPlante for carrying off this prize for her very first novel, particularly against such stiff competition.’

If you like Alice LaPlante you might also like to read books by Lionel Shriver, Donna Tartt and Simon Lelic.

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Synopsis

Turn of Mind by Alice LaPlante

Winner of the Wellcome Trust Book Prize 2011.

The police are convinced that Jennifer White has killed her best friend. Amanda's body has been discovered in her home, stabbed to death and with four fingers from her right hand neatly removed. The murder is a horrifying shock to a quiet and genteel neighbourhood. Jennifer's work as an accomplished surgeon and the stormy nature of her friendship with Amanda make her the prime suspect. However, even Jennifer cannot tell if she really is responsible. Her days are spent in confusion and her memories are fragmented thanks to the Alzheimer's that is gradually destroying her once brilliant mind. Fractured images and remembered conversations return to her over the days of the police investigation, and Jennifer pieces together recollections from the near and distant past that cast light on her current predicament. As her condition deteriorates, she struggles against succumbing to the indignities of her merciless illness. She frequently fails to recognise her children, Mark and Fiona, when they come to visit but at times she finds herself vividly reliving distinct moments from her most significant relationships - with her late husband James, her much-loved medical career and of course Amanda, who knew even her most intimate and dangerous family secrets


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About the Author

Alice LaPlante is a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, and teaches writing there as well as at San Francisco State University. She has been published in Epoch, Southwest Review and other literary journals, and her non-fiction has appeared in Forbes ASAP, Discover and Business Week. She has written four books of non-fiction. Turn of Mind is her first novel.

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Book Info

Publication date

7th July 2011

Author

Alice LaPlante

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Publisher

Harvill Secker an imprint of Vintage

Format

Hardback

Categories

Thriller / Suspense
All Shortlists and Winners
Literary Fiction
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ISBN

9781846554636

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