Like Falling Through a Cloud: A Lyrical Memoir (Hardcover)
T.H.U.R.S. Book Club selection, December 2020, Redbery Books, Cable, WI.— From T.H.U.R.S. Book Club
Flutist, writer, artistic director of major music series, television journalist, educator and internet entrepreneur, Zukerman addresses her “lapses and losses” as she confronts and deals with a future under the shadow of her Alzheimer’s diagnosis.
Touching, honest, and fearlessly heartfelt, Like Falling Through a Cloud recounts Zukerman’s discovery, consultations, and diagnosis, all while navigating the death of her 103-year-old mother, a performance at the Kennedy Center, and the consolidation of her life via a full-time move to upstate New York. As she finds strength in family love, self-examination, and the enduring power of creating music, Zukerman teaches us the importance of living in the now, while accepting that what comes next may remain a mystery.
About the Author
“Eugenia Zukerman has taken an experience and event that can be traumatic and brought light to it. Her poetic style of communicating the nature of her world in the face of this challenge is endearing. I believe anybody who is themselves or is having any family member experience some decline in memory will feel uplifted and informed by this highly special and unique work.” — Herbert Pardes, M.D., Executive Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of New York-Presbyterian Hospital
“My sister, Eugenia (Genie to me), admirably always embraces the moment for whatever it brings. After recently receiving the diagnosis of cognitive decline, she was stunned but then took stock of how she felt and what it all means. A generous result is her beguiling prose poem, Like Falling through a Cloud, in which she faces the mysteries of memory, and self-discovery through change. In this short, yet revealing, sometimes funny, sometimes sad volume, she shares her experience and her candid self-perceptions. This compact volume has helped me as Genie’s big sister (and a physician) understand what is going on far better than my empiric medical knowledge. This gem of a book should provide solace and insight for family and friends struggling to understand the complex issues of cognitive decline. More than that, it is a tale of bravery, strength, and healing.” — Julie R. Ingelfinger, M.D., Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, and Senior Consultant in Pediatric Nephrology at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston
"Eugenia Zukerman’s new book, Like Falling Through a Cloud, is a masterpiece of inspiration, poetry, reflection, memories, and the heartbreak of discovering that one is having the early signs of dementia. Writing in the present tense, of past reflection, of moments of sheer delight—as well as moments of sheer horror—Eugenia has authored a must-read. I was going to say a must-read for those who suffer from moments of forgetfulness, but instead, I’m going to say it’s a book for everyone. It transcends the particulars, becoming applicable to any situation you might find yourself in. That is the sign of a truly inspiring volume, a classic, and Like Falling Through a Cloud is a classic—for everyone. The beautiful message that Ms. Zukerman has created in the astonishing, revealing, and inspiring book is that we all have life to live, dreams to dream, and human kindness to both give and receive. The author has always been an extraordinary talent, both musically and linguistically. In Like Falling Through a Cloud, she has written the unforgettable." — Judy Collins, American Singer and Songwriter
"Heart-crushing poetry, eloquent typography, and stunning candor combine to make Eugenia Zukerman’s voyage into the uncharted landscape of memory loss the most compelling book you will read this year. A brave journey beautifully told." — Letty Cottin Pogrebin, founding editor of MS. Magazine
"A published novelist, a television commentator and, most impressively, one of the finest flutists of our time," Eugenia Zukerman worked hard and juggled it all-performing, writing, interviewing artists, directing concert series-with ease and grace. Until a few years ago, in her early 70s, she became forgetful, misplacing papers, losing her words. Concerned, her daughters insisted she get tested. Eugenia, whose mother was sharp at 103, wasn't worried. Until her sister, a doctor herself, reminded her: six of their mother's siblings suffered cognitive decline and died in their 70s. The results of Eugenia's neuro-psych exam and MRI confirmed: her cognitive impairment was real, and would only get worse. She had Alzheimer's. Outraged and terrified, Zukerman vowed to do her best to handle her diagnosis "privately and purposefully." She began to chronicle her unraveling, mostly in verse. The result is the gorgeous new book, Like Falling Through a Cloud: A Lyrical Memoir of Coping with Forgetfulness, Confusion, and a Dreaded Diagnosis [East End Press; November 2019], an intimate, courageous, heartbreaking, lyrical, and uplifting memoir of Eugenia's year of finding her way through the maze of confusion and brambles of loss." —Broadway World
"Like Falling Through A Cloud by Eugenia Zukerman available at Amazon Barnes & Noble and Goodreads. What if the dreaded world of Alzheimer’s was also a world of emotional discovery? Eugenia Zukerman’s poetry and simple prose, both heartbreaking and ultimately inspirational, ushers the reader into her world as she unflinchingly examines familial loyalties, moments from her past and present, and the need to face an uncertain future due to the diagnosis of a condition that she truly hopes “will remain unnamed.” Flutist, writer, artistic director of major music series, television journalist, educator, and internet entrepreneur, Zukerman addresses her “lapses and losses” as she confronts and deals with a future under the shadow of her Alzheimer’s diagnosis." —Not Born Yesterday
"Like Falling Through a Cloud unfolds in fragments and rhymes, nightmares and revelations. Eugenia opens up about her childhood and therapy sessions; her fear of exposure, vulnerability, and public failure; her initial resistance, and creative coping strategies. Gradually, Eugenia comes to accept the reality of living her life with a debilitating condition. In the process, she discovers her own remarkable bravery and resilience. Her powerful story of going from terror and turbulence to gratitude for another day offers comfort to the millions of people grappling with dementia and Alzheimer's disease." —Broadway World