||A WORLD OF LIGHT is a memoir of the reassembled life. In early December, 1988, at the age of forty-one, I boarded a plane in Portland, Oregon, and during the flight to Washington DC, contracted a virus that targeted my brain.
||Floyd Skloot's sequel to his earlier memoir about his "static dementia," a brain-destroying disease he acquired in middle age, expands to include the story of his mother, Lillian, who is in the grip of dementia. Skloot sees similarities, of course, but he provides a clear-eyed and highly individual portrait of his mother, a supremely difficult (and possibly disturbed) woman all her life, and a disarmingly honest account of growing up as her son.
||From the winner of the 2004 PEN Center USA Literary Award for Creative Nonfiction In his award-winning memoir In the Shadow of Memory, Floyd Skloot told the hard story of coming to terms with a brain-ravaging virus. A World of Light, written with the same insight, passion, and humor that distinguished the earlier volume, moves Skloot’s story from the reassembly of a self after neurological calamity to the reconstruction of a shattered life. More than fifteen years after a viral attack compromised his memory and cognitive powers, Skloot now must do the vital work of recreating a cohesive life for himself even as he confronts the late stages of his mother’s advancing dementia. With tenderness and candor, he finds surprising connection with her where it had long been missing, transforming the end of her life into a time of unexpected renewal. At the same time, Skloot and his wife are building a rich new life at the center of a small isolated forest on a hillside in rural Oregon, where a dwindling water supply and the bitter assaults of the weather bring an elemental perspective to his attempts to make himself once more at home in the world. By turns poignant, funny, and frightening, A World of Light balances the urgency to capture fragmented, fleeting memories with the necessity of living fully in the present.