New fiction by:Â
Caleb Azumah Nelson
Anna Jean Hughes
To live with dementia is to develop extraordinary and various new ways of being – linguistically, cognitively and practically. The storyteller operates similarly, using words and ideas creatively to reveal a slightly different perspective of the world.
In this anthology of fourteen new short stories, commissioned by Jan Carson and Jane Lugea, some of the best contemporary writers from Ireland and the UK powerfully and poignantly explore the depths and breadth of the real dementia experience, traversing age, ethnicity, class and gender, sex and consent. Each writer’s story is drawn from their own personal experience of dementia and told with outrageous and dark humour, empathy and startling insight. Here are heroes and villains, tricksters and saints, mothers, fathers, lovers, friends, characters whose past has overshadowed their present and characters who are making a huge impact on the world they currently find themselves in. They might have dementia, but dementia is only a small part of who they are. They will challenge, frustrate, inspire and humble you.
Above all, these brilliant pieces of short fiction disrupt the perceived notions of what dementia is and, in their diversity, honesty and authenticity begin to normalise an illness that affects so many and break down the stigma endured by those living with it every day.
Find out more about the AHRC-funded research project based at Queen’s University Belfast, from which this anthology has emerged: www.blogs.qub.ac.uk/dementiafiction/