Alabama author James Brown will be at the Tallassee Community Library to sign copies of “The Nursing Home Book” 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Aug. 18.
Brown said the book gives voice to those who are often unheard — those living in nursing homes.
“It's a series of short stories, or vignettes, based on the lives of the residents,” Brown said. “Some of what happens (is) there in the nursing home but the biggest part of this focuses on their lives prior to landing in the nursing home. It's about how they were raised, how their parents lived and things like that.”
Most people think of the elderly when they think of patients in a nursing home but Brown said they can be almost any age.
“It's not all about people in their 90s,” he said. “There are stories about people who are 55, 65 and even early 30s because not everyone in a nursing home is old. I would say about a third of the stories are based on my background more than my observations in the nursing home but the rest of it is about real people.”
The 130-page book includes 39 stories, including the prologue, which is based on a multi-generational family caretaker and her experiences in the field.
“She actually attended to my grandmother in a nursing home in Wetumpka and some 40 years she was at the nursing home caring for my mother,” Brown said.
Brown said the book also tells the story of those who work and live in nursing homes.
“Part of it is about the residents, some staff, and the prologue starts the book and gives you a prelude to what the book is about, and it's about those residents,” Brown said.
Brown said the book is an easy read with each vignette taking only a couple of pages. Some of the events in the book are taken straight out of Brown's life experiences.
“It's me sitting there at the dinner table playing chess after I discovered it on the computer,” he said. “I couldn't make it make the move that I wanted it to make because I couldn't figure out (how) the thing played and it was aggravating me. This was while I was in the middle of these vignettes, so I took that and wrote into the book.”
Brown has a message for those considering buying a copy of the book.
“While this effort may seem gloomy, humor and nostalgia can be found here for those who are looking and have an interest in such things,” he said. “Those who enjoy talking with their grandparent or the elderly and hearing their stories, this is for you.”
For those unable to attend the book signing, the book is on shelves inside the Apothecary Pharmacy on Gilmer Avenue in Tallassee.