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Participant Information

Dean Ross


The onset of Parkinson ’s Disease marked new beginnings in my life. The most obvious was the start of a long voyage to an unknown country. The other -- and the more surprising -- was the awakening of the will to write. I say “surprising” because all my life I had wanted to be a writer but the demands of business and what could only be described as writer’s block kept me from producing even a page of creative work in half a century.

Yet two days after diagnosis I had a clear idea of the book I wanted to write and began Chapter 1 the next day. Less than a year later it was completed.

The book, however, does not seek to chronicle my personal experience with Parkinson’s. Other writers have taken a very personal approach and have done so successfully. I wanted to produce something very different.

In living with an illness such as Parkinson’s we all face similar challenges. Who among us has not asked, Why me? or has not struggled with retaining one’s dignity in the face of an illness that can too readily strip it from us? In one way or another, we all must manage friendships or love relationships that can perhaps fracture, perhaps strengthen, under the strain of serious illness. And has any of us escaped the necessity of confronting fear or summoning courage or enduring solitude?

These issues and many others have been addressed with enormous artistry and sensitivity by great literature and art. And so, I’ve written a book that considers through the lens of great literature and art the issues that are important to us as we try to come to terms with a progressive, debilitating illness.

The book is entitled, “Reflections on a Simple Twist of Fate: Literature, Art and Parkinson’s Disease.” I hope you enjoy it and find it meaningful.

Contact Dean:
Hardcover copies available at cost upon request.