Then Again: It’s Everyone’s Story

Dear Ms. Keaton,

I think you are spectacular. I love that you’ve given us this book to let us into your life, as well as the life of your mother who now has Alzheimer’s Disease. Here’s what I read on Amazon about you both:

“Mom loved adages, quotes, slogans. There were always little reminders pasted on the kitchen wall. For example, the word THINK. I found THINK thumbtacked on a bulletin board in her darkroom. I saw it Scotch-taped on a pencil box she’d collaged. I even found a pamphlet titled THINK on her bedside table. Mom liked to THINK.

So begins Diane Keaton’s unforgettable memoir about her mother and herself. In it you will meet the woman known to tens of millions as Annie Hall, but you will also meet, and fall in love with, her mother, the loving, complicated, always-thinking Dorothy Hall. To write about herself, Diane realized she had to write about her mother, too, and how their bond came to define both their lives.

More than the autobiography of a legendary actress, Then Again is a book about a very American family with very American dreams. Diane will remind you of yourself, and her bonds with her family will remind you of your own relationships with those you love the most.

Yes, it does remind me of a certain relationship! The one I wrote about in “Brain in a Jar.” I wish you could read it, Ms. Keaton. I think you’d love it. Beau liked to think, too, just like your mother.  The crazy thing about complicated Beau, though, is that he kept his father’s brain in a jar to remind him what to think about: Alzheimer’s disease.

I’m doing everything I can to get my story published because I want to the world to know about my father—-the neurologist who became a neurologist because he saw what Alzheimer’s did to his father and then got it himself. This is a tale that makes Annie Hall and Woody Allen seem well-adjusted. “Brain in a Jar” is about neurosis, genetics, compulsion, love, betrayal, patriotism, war, identity, time, memory, the Philippines and spinal fluid.

Here’s an excerpt:

Perhaps this is why my father was obsessed with Asia and the mind: You never really understand what’s happening in either. The only sure things in either hemisphere of the world——or the brain——are fluid and death.

I may not be you, Ms. Keaton, but I am Nancy Stearns Bercaw. And I have a story to tell and sell. A story like yours.

Then Again, it’s the story of any child who loves a parent with Alzheimer’s disease.



One Comment Add yours

  1. Allan Nicholls says:

    In 1969, when I was learning the show “Hair” by rehearsing every day of the week from 9-6 and then watching every one of the eight shows a week…it was at the same time that Ms. Keaton was completing her run in the role of Sheila. I saw perform nightly and two matinees for one solid week…and I am sorry to say that I do not recall much about her performance… maybe she was not that good… maybe she did not fit in to this “ensemble” piece… then again, maybe I was too busy learning my words, lyrics, blocking that I couldn’t notice what would become a “star”…my goodness it is such a tricky thing: getting that book published, getting that song recorded, getting that movie made, etc.

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