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Turn of Mind by Alice LaPlante

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Longlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger 2012.

Longlisted for the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger 2012.

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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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Winner of the the Wellcome Trust Book Prize 2011.
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 S. J. Watson, Linda Grant and Simon Lelic.


Turn of Mind by Alice LaPlante

This title is winner of the Wellcome Trust Book Prize. Dr Jennifer White's best friend has been found dead. Amanda was stabbed to death at home, and four fingers were neatly removed from her right hand. Jennifer's work as an accomplished surgeon and the stormy nature of her friendship with Amanda mean that she is the prime suspect. But even Jennifer doesn't know if she is the murderer. Alzheimer's is destroying her once brilliant mind and her memories of that terrible night, and the rest of her life, are now fragmented and confused. She frequently fails to recognise her children when they visit yet at times finds herself vividly reliving moments with her late husband or episodes from her much-loved career. Jennifer is confused, but is she also a killer?

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Wonderful. This harrowing exploration of the slow disintegration of the mind is deeply touching and utterly heartbreaking, while also being a compelling page-turner. I loved it -- S.J. Watson, author of 'Before I Go to Sleep
A spiralling descent into loss and deceit that leaves the reader breathless. Chilling, memorable and heartbreaking

-- Val McDermid Unforgettable * Observer * Haunting and original * New York Times Book Review * Really terrific - ambitious, clever and human -- Nicci French

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

1st August 2012


Alice LaPlante

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Vintage an imprint of Vintage Publishing


320 pages


Crime / Mystery
Literary Fiction
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Thriller / suspense



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