Eugenia Zukerman - Like Falling Through A Cloud - Featured In: NPR, New York Times, Psychology Today, Sunday Morning, The Washington Post

Like Falling Through a Cloud: A Lyrical Memoir of Coping with Forgetfulness, Confusion, and a Dreaded Diagnosis
By Eugenia Zukerman


Hailed by the Boston Globe as “an international triple threat...a published novelist, a television commentator and, most impressively, one of the finest flutists of our time,” Eugenia Zukerman worked hard and juggled it all—performing, writing, interviewing artists, directing concert series—with ease and grace. Until a few years ago, in her early 70s, she became forgetful, misplacing papers, losing her words. Concerned, her daughters insisted she get tested. Eugenia, whose mother was sharp at 103, wasn’t worried. Until her sister, a doctor herself, reminded her: six of their mother’s siblings suffered cognitive decline and died in their 70s. The results of Eugenia’s neuro-psych exam and MRI confirmed: her cognitive impairment was real, and would only get worse. She had Alzheimer’s.

Outraged and terrified, Zukerman vowed to do her best to handle her diagnosis “privately and purposefully.” She began to chronicle her unraveling, mostly in verse. The result is the gorgeous new book, Like Falling Through a Cloud: A Lyrical Memoir of Coping with Forgetfulness, Confusion, and a Dreaded Diagnosis [East End Press; November 2019], an intimate, courageous, heartbreaking, lyrical, and uplifting memoir of Eugenia’s year of finding her way through the maze of confusion and brambles of loss.

“I did seek help from doctors of course,” as she shares, “but what seems to have saved me from crumbling and falling apart was music, love, poetry, and, oddly, laughter.”

Like Falling Through a Cloud unfolds in fragments and rhymes, nightmares and revelations. Eugenia opens up about her childhood and therapy sessions; her fear of exposure, vulnerability, and public failure; her initial resistance, and creative coping strategies. Gradually, Eugenia comes to accept the reality of living her life with a debilitating condition. In the process, she discovers her own remarkable bravery and resilience. Her powerful story of going from terror and turbulence to gratitude for another day offers comfort to the millions of people grappling with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Available for interview or commentary around the book and her uplifting, powerful story, Eugenia can touch on topics such as:

  • The Alzheimer’s mindset as seen through the lens of the patient
  • How her art has helped her navigate her Alzheimer’s diagnosis
  • Her tips for staying positive in the face of Alzheimer’s
  • Her motivation behind creating poems from the perspective of someone in early stages of Alzheimer’s
  • The warning signs her kids noticed that ultimately brought her to visit her doctor, and what others can look for in themselves and loved ones
  • What she wants caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s to know about their loved one with Alzheimer’s

“I want people to know the world doesn’t have to stop if you are in cognitive decline,” Eugenia says. “Yes, there will be times where you can’t remember words or need some help. But I want to encourage others facing Alzheimer’s to live every single day to the fullest. I hope Like Falling Through A Cloud will help those with Alzheimer’s or caring for someone who is, feel more positive in the light of their journey.”

EUGENIA ZUKERMAN is an internationally renowned flutist and writer. She was the artistic director of the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival in Colorado for 13 years and the arts correspondent on CBS Sunday Morning for more than 25 years. She is the author of two novels, two works of nonfiction, and numerous screenplays, articles, and book reviews. Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1944, Eugenia graduated from the Julliard School of Music and lived in New York City for many years. A mother of two daughters and grandmother to two, she makes her home in upstate New York with her husband, two horses, three dogs, and assorted wildlife.

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