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The Unravelling

  • Publication Date: September 12, 2017
  • ISBN: 9781988298153 / 1988298156
  • 240 pages; 10" x 6"

A memoir, told through illustrations and text, of one family’s journey through mental illness, dementia, caregiving, and the health care system.

Olivier Martini and his mother, Catherine, have lived together since he was diagnosed with schizophrenia thirty-six years ago. It hasn’t always been a perfect living situation, but it’s worked — Catherine has been able to help Olivier through the ups and downs of living with a mental illness, and Olivier has been able to care for his aging mother as her mobility becomes limited, and Olivier’s brothers Clem and Nic have been able to provide support to both as well. But then Olivier experiences a health crisis at the exact same time that his mother starts slipping into dementia.

The Martini family’s lifelong struggle with mental illness is suddenly complicated immeasurably as they begin to navigate the convoluted world of assisted living and long-term care. With anger, dry humour, and hope, The Unravelling tells the story of one family’s journey with mental illness, dementia, and caregiving, through a poignant graphic narrative from Olivier accompanied by text from his brother, award-winning playwright and novelist Clem Martini.

The Unravelling is a candid, painful and, at times, comical account of what it’s like to navigate a perplexing health-care system that fails to meet the needs of the patient.” – The Globe and Mail

To my shock and amazement, I raced through this book in two days, dying to read just another page, reacting to it the way one would a fast-paced thriller…This book was so relevant to me because it not only acted as a road-map for what’s ahead, but a relatable account of all the emotions one may go through when entering this time of life; helplessness, shame, embarrassment, yet undying hope that one is ‘doing the right thing’ for their family.” I’ve Read This

Alberta Trade Fiction Book of the Year Award, 2018 (winner)
City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Book Prize, 2018 (short-listed)

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