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Books, Journals, New Media
September 15, 1999

Alzheimer MemoirElegy for Iris

Author Affiliations

Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorJonathan D.EldredgeMLS, PhD, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media


Not Available


by John Bayley, 275 pp, with illus, $22.95, ISBN 0-312-19864-7, New York, NY, St Martin's Press, 1999.

JAMA. 1999;282(11):1093-1094. doi:10.1001/jama.282.11.1093-JBK0915-2-1

In Elegy for Iris, John Bayley describes his life with the writer Iris Murdoch (1919-1999), focusing on the years since her development of Alzheimer disease (AD). This is a subtle and charming book, which at times startles the reader.

Bayley and Murdoch met when they were at Oxford, he as a 28-year-old graduate student in English literature, she a 34-year-old philosophy fellow and tutor. He was attracted by her resoluteness, kindness, and grubbiness. They married and were, according to Bayley, happy.

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