Tag where memories go

Last weekend our travelling editor Lisa went on a little trip to a beautiful part of the world: Iceland. She was there with Two Roads author Sally Magnusson to attend the annual Meeting of the Magnusson Fellows at the Hannesarholt Cultural Center in Reykjavik. The fellowship, run by the Glasgow Caledonian University, has been created in honour of the late Chancellor of the University, television presenter, journalist, writer, historian and professional Icelander Magnus Magnusson, Sally’s father.

But there was another reason for the trip: on Tuesday 30th September Sally was at the official launch of the Icelandic translation of her bestselling book, Where Memories Go (find out more here). And what a success it was: not only did many of Iceland’s most prominent public figures attend the event, but the book itself made it onto the bestsellers chart after just one day in the shops. Hurrah!

And now for a few pictures from the trip…

Dr Vigdís Finnbogadóttir the (first woman) President of Iceland from 1980 to 1996

Ragnheiður Jóna Jónsdóttir, who started the Hannesarholt Cultural Centre – Sally was their first international guest

Sally signing copies of her book

Inside Reykjavik’s iconic concert hall and conference centre, Harpa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sally and her intrepid editor Lisa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edinburgh International Book Festival Sally Magnusson Where Memories Go dementiaLisa is travelling around Scotland this week, and paid a visit to the Edinburgh International Book Festival to attend Sally Magnusson‘s event. Here’s her take:

Last night I attended Sally Magnusson‘s event at the Edinburgh Book Festival. Although I have read Sally’s book countless times and been to many many events, there was a particular magic to this one. Was it the rain drumming on the tent roof, the rapt attention of almost six hundred people, the expressive interpretation of the signer standing alongside or the magic of Sally’s words as she conducted us through her experience? All of the above of course.

As Sally spoke to each and every person in the quiet and patient signing queue for over an hour afterwards, the magic continued. Every person had something personal to share, something unique and yet universal. Where Memories Go has touched so many lives because dementia touches so many. As Sally says ‘ this is my story but it could be anybody’s’.

But last night, as Jim Naughtie and the Edinburgh Festival sound director said, ‘Wow, that was something …’

See a few pictures taken by Lisa below. Well done, Sally!

Find out more about Where Memories Go: why dementia changes everything here.

Edinburgh International Book Festival Sally Magnusson Where Memories Go dementia

Edinburgh International Book Festival Sally Magnusson Where Memories Go dementia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edinburgh International Book Festival Sally Magnusson Where Memories Go dementia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…yes, authors are just like us: they too look forward to the summer to finally read the books that have been sitting on their bedside table for weeks.

Now Two Roads has an exclusive (!) look at what some of our writers are reading this summer

Bret Anthony Johnston, author of Remember Me Like This (out now)

Bret Anthony Johnston’s summer reading pile

 

I tend to read in the morning before starting a day’s work and then again in the evening before bed, and I tend to read from a different book in each session. Fiction usually comes first, and I’m excited about the fiction I’m reading now or soon to read. Rene Steinke’s forthcoming novel Friendswood, Lea Carpenter’s novel Eleven Days (find out more here), some Chekhov stories, and a collection of strange and beautiful fiction called Nature Stories by Jules Renard. The Renard book might serve as something as bridge between my current fiction and nonfiction tastes, as I’m reading a lot about animals right now. One of the things I’m currently working on is a weird, nonlinear short story involving horses, and this book on horse psychology continues to prove invaluable to me in countless ways. Future projects may include the mythical (or is it?) chupacbra and the siege in Waco, Texas in 1993. This summer I’ve also been spending time with Emily Rapp’s heart-rending memoir The Still Point of the Turning World (find out more here). As for the book on iPhones, well, let’s just say I’ve recently gotten my first one and the transition hasn’t been easy or smooth. That book will probably be the most helpful, and it’s the one I’m looking forward to the least. Maybe there’s a lesson in there somewhere.

 

Jamie Kornegay, author of Soil (spring 2015)

Jamie Kornegay’s summer reading pile

As a full-time bookseller, my reading tends toward the new and upcoming – a merchant must test his wares, after all – and hence my summer stack is a blend of some of this season’s best, including startling debuts from Smith Henderson and a Mississippi friend, Lisa Howorth, as well as stories from the fiercely talented John Brandon, and what must surely be James Lee Burke’s masterpiece; and forthcoming fall titles, including one of my favorite writers, Richard Flanagan, whose new novel I’m currently loving, along with the reliably strange Michel Faber, history from Hampton Sides, and one of the U.S. South’s most popular writers, Rick Bragg, on one of the South’s most notorious rock-n-rollers. Sandwiched in the middle is something for the writer…

 

Sally Magnusson, author of Where Memories Go: why dementia changes everything (out now)

Sally Magnusson’s summer reading pile

 

Later this

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month I’ll be hosting the James Tait Black prize-giving ceremony at the Edinburgh Book Festival, so my holiday in Tuscany is a great time to devour the shortlist. The biographies were a bit large for my suitcase but the four novels are just right. Have just finished Jim Crace’s Harvest – a stunning read. The bottom two books are background reading for programmes I’m doing on the First World War.

 

 

Carrie Snyder, author of Girl Runner (spring 2015)

Carrie Snyder’s summer reading pile

 

Here’s the tour, from bottom to top, starting with the books I keep meaning to read, and do delve into on occasion, but have yet to finish: two library books, The Oxford History of Popular Print Culture, volume 1, and The Girl and the Game: A History of Women’s Sport in Canada (which I’ve already read, ages ago, but figure I should brush up on again in advance of my book coming out). Next is Karen Armstrong’s Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life. I did intend to become a better person this summer. I regret to say I’ve stalled on step two. But I did read all through Matilda, by Roald Dahl, with my two youngest (ages 6 and 8). We loved it, although did note that Dahl seems to have a strong animus for the imposing female athlete, who is the villain in the piece. I whipped through Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, kept staying up late to read, which is what summer really should be for. Yes, that’s my own Girl Runner, the American uncorrected proof, which I confess I started reading the evening it arrived and just kept on. It’s homework, though. I’ve got a lot of readings booked this fall and I need to find and rehearse sections that would make for good drama. Just above is Anita Lahey’s essay collection The Mystery Shopping Cart, only available in Canada, and a very Canadian book of literary critique. Finally, the book I’m currently marching through: A Man in Love by Karl Ove Knausgaard, the second in the series; I loved the first, but am finding this one a little less moving, with its focus so far on raising small children while trying to find time to write, which is basically my life and has been for the past 13 years. This is hardly an original observation, but I keep wondering if anyone would be interested had a woman written it instead.

 

Aylet Waldman, author of Love and Treasure (out now)

Ayelet Waldman’s summer reading pile

 

This summer is all about the French Riviera and Hollywood in the 1940s. I have begun work on

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my new novel and by far the most exciting part of that is delving into a new area of research. Research is my joy. It’s the actual writing part that kicks my ass.

 

 

 

 

 

Where Memories Go is the moving memoir by Sally Magnusson which tells the story of Sally’s experience with her mother’s

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dementia.

This week the Alzheimer’s Society celebrates Dementia Awareness Week which is all about getting people to open up and start talking about dementia. From 18 until 24 May, Dementia Awareness Week will be campaigning, fundraising and raising awareness about the disease.

Sally is also the founder of Playlist For Life which encourages families to create a playlist of meaningful music on an iPod for their loved one.

http://vimeo.com/78719951#at=0

There is mounting evidence that if people with dementia are offered frequent access to the music in which their past experience and memories are embedded, it can improve their present mood, their awareness, their ability to understand and think and their sense of identity and independence. Music that is merely familiar in a general way, although pleasurable, is not likely to be so effective.

Get involved with the Alzheimer’s Society and Playlist for Life this week and get talking!

#DAW2014

Make sure you check out the Where Memories Go Facebook page for daily posts throughout the week (and more!)

Today we publish Where Memories Go, the terrific new memoir by Sally Magnusson about her mother and her struggle with dementia.

The publicity around the book has been phenomenal with an extract in the Guardian, an interview in the Telegraph, reviews in The Sunday Times and Metro, and other mentions or features in The Sunday Post, Radio Times and Psychologies. Sally also appeared on BBC Breakfast and BBC Radio 4 Midweek, and contributed to a live webchat on Mumsnet.

More press is still to

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come and we have a full schedule of events lined up: visit Facebook/WhereMemoriesGo to find out more.

And if you have a story about how dementia has touched your life that you’d like to share, drop us a line at wherememoriesgo@gmail.com.

Sally Magnusson WHERE MEMORIES GO pub date

Last weekend the Guardian published an extract from Where Memories Go, the forthcoming memoir by Sally Magnusson about her mother’s dementia. It immediately generated a lot of discussion, was shared on Facebook over 4000 times and retweeted hundreds of times. We have also received an amazing amount of feedback on the book’s Facebook page and on our other social media channels.

On Tuesday one of Fede’s Instagram followers from the US, Michael Lombardo, got in touch with him after seeing a video about the book on the app and reading the extract: he immediately pre-ordered a copy of the book and wrote to share his family’s experience of dementia. He inspired us to reach out to those people whose life has been changed by this sad disease, so if you have a story you’d like to share email us at wherememoriesgo@gmail.com. We’ve asked Michael to share his story and he very kindly agreed:

Our Mother is 92 and we feel quite fortunate that she was very sharp until a few years ago. We are also lucky that we have full time, very capable, live-in help and Mom is able to stay in the home she has lived in for 40 years.

Her memories are so jumbled now: she’s quite clear on her childhood, but now she sometimes refers to my sister as my aunt and so on. She often asks “Why did you move my house here?”

Mom was (and is) such a beautiful, intelligent, vibrant woman, always smiling and charming, curious about the world. She was a Navy WAVE in WW2, met my father while serving and was married over 60 years. She still recognizes everyone close to her, but we all know those days are numbered. Her personality hasn’t changed, she’s still sweet and kind and on “good days” has a fairly decent grasp of the world around her.

My family cherishes the good days with her and we have some wonderful laughs with all her childhood memories we are now learning of. One day, I was driving with her and she sang me the most beautiful song her sister used to sing to her when she was a little girl, she knew it word for word even though it happened 87 years ago. I could barely keep the car on the road I was so choked up.

My sister and I look forward to your book and gaining some first hand insight, we both know the toughest days are ahead.’

Michael Lombardo (New Jersey, USA)

 

 

No Two Roads Christmas would be complete without our authors’ words, which is why, as part of our festive celebrations, we bring you some of our writers’ favourite Christmas memories.

This is a photograph of my mother, Mamie (on the right), and my mother-in-law, Muriel, at one of our Christmas Eve family celebrations. Disappearing off the picture to the right is a teenage son who had got hold of a Santa Claus outfit that year from somewhere and insisted on wearing it. The great thing about Christmas is that it’s a celebration for

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all the generations and I love the affection between the two matriarchs here, and their lovely smiles.

Sally Magnusson’s memoir, Where Memories Go, about her mother and dementia, is published in January 2014 and will be a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week. Find out more on Facebook at Facebook.com/WhereMemoriesGo

Sally Magnusson Christmas

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where Memories Go Sally Magnusson Magnus Magnusson dementia Alzheimer'sWhere Memories Go, the brilliant and moving account of how Scottish broadcaster and author Sally Magnusson and her family cared for her mother Mamie during her long struggle with dementia, comes out in February 2014.

With Sally’s help we have created a Facebook page for the book. Our aim is to make it the place to find out more about Sally, her mother and the book; but also a forum for people who are affected, directly or indirectly, by dementia. The page is already up and running and we would be very grateful if you could take a look, like it and share it with your friends: Facebook.com/WhereMemoriesGo

A little more info on the book…

Where Memories Go Sally Magnusson Magnus Magnusson dementia Alzheimer'sRegarded as one of the finest journalists of her generation, Mamie Baird Magnusson‘s whole life was a celebration of words – words that she fought to retain in the grip of a disease which

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is fast becoming the scourge of the 21st century. Married to writer and broadcaster Magnus Magnusson, they had five children of whom Sally is the eldest. As well as chronicling the anguish, the frustrations and the unexpected laughs and joys that she and her sisters experienced while accompanying their beloved mother on the long dementia road for eight years until her death in 2012, Sally Magnusson seeks understanding from a range of experts and asks penetrating questions about how we treat older people, how we can face one of the greatest social, medical, economic and moral challenges of our times, and what it means to be human.

 

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