I wrote the novel "Scourged" as a Memoir as a direct result of the heartbreaking diagnosis of Alzheimers Dementia in my gentle Mother, Siobhán.
Beginning in the 60's, the tandem narrative unravels the memories of life in a small Irish town - narrated by the Scourge of the title - Me - and my Mother - in a series of flashbacks.
It comprises sections of black comedy, nostalgia, memories and epiphanies - that document the personalities, history, and archive of an ordinary family, who through the bastard of disease that the Scourge calls "death by a thousand cuts" becomes cathartic, redemptive, and ultimately uplifting, as we become extraordinary in our ability to cope.
It also shines a light on an illness that is rarely discussed in this detail.
Written over 4 years, "Scourged" takes the reader on a journey from early diagnosis, the stages as the patient declines, the family's implosion, the morphing of the Scourge from wide eyed child into Enfant Terrible - then through obese depressed recluse, morphing into the creator of Shellshock – One Woman shows .
I first performed at the Fusion Soirée - having been dragged out from behind my keyboard to make people laugh and cry as I told them about some of the tamer incidents in my checkered life to date.
I moved on to Wexford Arts Centre, Suas At the Sky, Arthurs in Dublin, Ban Thai in Sommen, Sweden,and have been widely interviewed and recorded as a Voice of Carers . I was awarded the Dylan Thomas Literary Residency in Sweden in 2014 and played the opening night in the Spiegel Tent at Wexford Festival Opera on my 50th birthday.
Siobhán has always been my inspiration.
The first thing I ever wrote about Siobhán was a short story called "Mothers Day" and following her hospital admission, a play called "Brigids Women" - named for the ward Siobhán spent 7 months in.
After a decade of dementia, 6 years of which were spent in a small room in a Nursing Home, and after bravery that was described by medical personnel as "heroic and humbling" Siobhán was called home during a hurricane on the last day of winter, St Brigids Day.
Her Months Mind Mass was held 7 weeks later, on Mother’s Day.
The book has been called groundbreaking and remarkable by a readers panel.
I will launch the hardcopy in October, on my 51st birthday.
I feel my Mother has helped me write it, and that I have given her back her voice, which was sadly silenced, and also given her back her place in the world, which she longed to see.
I will use her own artwork - which she painted as a child- on the cover, with her signature.
"Scourged" is written.
The amount sought is to cover copy editing -€1,000
printing of 1000 copies - €3,650
distribution, launching and press - €350.
I thank you on behalf of both of us ....... in anticipation
Siobhán Dooley Mahon and the Scourge.