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Kate Jowell was the director of the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business – the first woman to hold such office in South Africa – when, at the age of 59, she was diagnosed with early Alzheimer’s disease. Attractive, glamorous and hard-working, she had, up till then, been a brilliant thinker whose high-profile career included being one of the first editors of women’s magazine Fair Lady, and establishing herself as a labor specialist at the height of industrial unrest in the 1980s, when she became a pioneering consultant and a highly regarded business academic. Sharon Sorour-Morris met Kate Jowell at the end of 2002 and spent the following year working closely with her, recording her devastating mental decline and capturing the memories of those who were closely involved in her life.
Something on My Mind is a deeply personal story handled with great sensitivity, covering a topic that is rarely brought into the open. It also recounts a fascinating social history, as Kate’s life crossed that of many well-known personalities: Albie Sachs, Jenny le Roux, Gorry Bowes Taylor, Sydney Baker, Sue MacGregor, former President FW de Klerk, Denis Worrall, George Ellis and Mamphela Ramphele, among others, as well as interesting international academics such as Robert Rotberg.
Posted January 15, 2011
A sensitive and beautifully written book on Kate Jowell's struggle of living with Dementia. Has been referred to many families facing their own struggle with the disease who have found it beneficial and enlightening. This was a labour of love by Sharon Souris-Morris who got to know Kate well during this journey. The disease impacted on her life and continues to do so by all who read the book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 5, 2010
A touching account of the accomplished, respected and adored Kate Jowell's courage in the face of a disease that erodes the very essence of who she is. Told with empathy, grace and humour, I was left at once saddened, yet utterly grateful and yes, inspired. It's one of those reads that reminds you of the common threads running through our collective narratives as human beings; a story that reminds you that we all just want the same things: love, happines - however you define that - health, a sense of belonging. Sharon Sorour-Morris' integrity as a writer and biographer is evident, as is her clear understanding of the art of the master narrative. I gave up and eventually cancelled a weekend's plans to just finish this compelling, eminently readable book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.