You’ve walked the same road for decades, and suddenly, you forget where you are. Just as swiftly, words seem to drop from your memory. Your to-do lists from the morning make little sense in the evening. Eventually, you can’t place the woman who stands before you — your daughter.
For the monsoon edition of the HT Education Book Club, we will be discussing Still Alice, the book and the film. The theme combines our two favourite rainy day indulgences — and we hope to add nuance to the age-old debate of which was better.
Still Alice tells the story y of a 50-year-old cognitive psychology professor’s descent into early onset Alzheimer’s disease. It shows, with startling clarity, how Alice’s memory loss impairs her routine, her confidence, and most importantly, her family. Written by neuroscientist Lisa Genova, Still Alice is an honest book that is heart-breaking and terrifying, yet inspiring.
According to a review of the book in The Telegraph, UK, Still Alice is a book whose subject is words — their meaning, their function, what they helplessly give away about the brain and its rebellions.
The book was adapted into a 2014 movie to positive reviews, and won lead actor Julianne Moore an Oscar.
The journey from book to screen is known to split critics down the middle. While our discussion will centre on the book’s essence, we will also explore the tough process to adapt such stories for a mass audience. Directors must condense reams of pages into a couple hours of screen-time, decide which characters should occupy the largest part of the story, how to make the narrative cinema-worthy without destroying the book’s essence, and so on. The same story, viewed from a reader’s and a cinemagoer’s perspective, may see stark differences. We hope to establish, with justification, which version we prefer.
Expect a lot of debate on whether books should be adapted into movies, on some successful adaptations and, of course, Harry Potter. There will be prizes for the best arguments, so come armed.
What we’re reading: Lisa Genova’s Still Alice; watch the film adaptation too
When: At the end of August
To register, email joanna.lobo@ hindustantimes.com with your name, age, contact number and professional background