chapter  4
Representations of dementia in Arabic literature
ByFaten Hussein
Pages 17

Tackling illness, physical or psychological, in modern Arabic literature is not a completely new phenomenon. Authors have talked about their disablement directly. Though research on neurodegenerative diseases is being conducted in medical schools across major Arab universities, there is very little accessible information available on dementia via public culture outlets or state institutions. The disease is, therefore, widely connected to degeneration as part of old age. Literary representations of dementia in Arabic are still scarce, and they naturally address dementia's most common type, Alzheimer's disease. Al-Qusaibi's novella, Alzheimer's: A tale, was written and published just before his death of colonic cancer. Commentary on the book and obituaries of al-Qusaibi in various newspapers agree that this is a semi-autobiographical narrative where Alzheimer's is used as cover for the author's own illness. Disease and pain have become a particular experience that has its own literary properties.