Living for All It’s Worth: Novels Exploring Love and Empathy - Writer's Digest
In 2007, Lisa Genova was selling self-published copies of her first novel, Still Alice, to independent bookstores from the trunk of her car. By 2015, that novel—about a Harvard professor suffering from early onset Alzheimer’s disease—had been adapted into a film starring Julianne Moore, earning her an Academy Award.
Today, Genova is a New York Times bestselling author of five celebrated novels chronicling the fate of ordinary people who are diagnosed with extraordinary and often fatal neurological diseases. Her novel Inside the O’Briens follows a Boston police officer suffering from Huntington’s disease. Her latest work, Every Note Played, is about a concert pianist whose life is turned upside down by a diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease or ALS.
Genova’s characters live out our nightmares—they lose the ability to think and move, they forget the people they love, they suffer excruciating pain, and they learn that their children have inherited the same fatal disease. But Genova’s novels are essentially life-affirming. She wants readers to see that even amid horrible suffering and loss, an individual’s life continues to have value and worth.
Continue reading here.