Riverside BookClub On Vanishing

October 10  | 11 am | Zoom

ON VANISHING: Mortality, Dementia, and What It Means to Disappear, by Lynn Casteel-Harper.  Rev. Harper will be our guest author, offering you the opportunity to be in conversation with her about her book and its powerful, memorable topics.

The New York Times review notes: “It isn’t that people with dementia vanish, Harper argues, it’s that we insist they do. Cultural bigotry against both cognitive impairment and old age’ imputes to them a kind of vacancy and chilling loss of personhood. We locate the self in language and vigor, in being of use to society; when people fail they are punished for that and for the panic they engender as we confront the specter of our own extinction. Harper cites a 1997 study that looked at the ‘loss of personhood’ in dementia patients, in which one-third of family caregivers reported that they believed the existence of the suffering relative was pointless; perhaps unsurprisingly, those same caregivers treated their patients as if they were ‘socially dead.’ Click here to Register.