“Writing is what we do to survive.” This is a quote from my father, who was a writer and a poet. I began writing my book less than a year after his death, and six months after my mother’s death. Writing my memoir Shimmer, indeed helped me survive.
This book chronicles growing up in the shadow of my mother’s suicide attempt, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer’s disease, my father’s incredible devotion to her. From there it delves into marriage, divorce, motherhood, childbirth, being badass and single, being a mermaid, dealing with grief, loss, an eating disorder, and anxiety with lots of therapy, while finding glimmers of hope through creativity.
“Shimmer is a beautiful book of courage, sensitivity, and perseverance. Hewett leads us through a journey of creativity, strength, and trauma. Her role as daughter, wife, mother, and artist are illuminated by her struggle to care for, understand, and negotiate life with a mother with schizophrenia. This book flows and truly shimmers with insight and awareness"
“Alexandra Hewett’s memoir, Shimmer, does exactly what the title implies: it shimmers with light, despite Hewett’s painful and often harrowing relationship with her schizophrenic mother. Told with pathos, humor, and unflinching honesty, Shimmer is the story of one woman’s profound resilience in the face of loss and trauma, and her persistent drive to seek the light, even in her darkest hours. This is a beautiful and hopeful book. ”
I discuss my memoir, "Shimmer," about living with a schizophrenic mother on the podcast.