Lisa Genova has written five very good books, Still Alice, Left Neglected, Love Anthony, Inside the O’Briens, and Every Note Played. Each of her novels are about people who have heartbreaking diseases and she brings her own background as a Neuroscientists to the stories that bring a compassionate look at these lives. Her approach as an author is unique to her and she is an important literary influence in literature today.
The Writers Digest featured an article, written by a guest columnist, in January 2018, titled “Living for All It’s Worth: The Novels of Neuroscientist Lisa Genova.” We can gain insight into Genova’s thoughts from the article with these quotes of hers used here.
“People ask me if it’s depressing writing about these hideous diseases,” saying “there is certainly tragedy and heartache, but I don’t find it depressing. I find it inspiring. I learn so much about how to live from people who are dying or coping with various diseases.”
Genova, as a writer, has brought focus to life struggles. She looks inside the world of her subjects and has little need to draw from narrative and philosophy of others to show who her characters are. The plot becomes the importance of the life itself of her characters. She said, “Your value as a human being doesn’t depend on your memories, or what you can and can’t do, or whatever disease you may have.”
Her message is as much about love as it is debilitating diseases. The disease sometimes frees its victim to see what was most important in their life, in repairing relationships, and giving love freely.
Genova said, “All my books are about empathy,” and adds that when she interviews people they say “I want to still love and be loved. I want to still matter. I want to be seen and heard.”
All five of her books are reviewed on this site. See the Past Review Section