Colonel Parkinson in Charge

Colonel Parkinson in Charge

A Wry Reflection on My Incurable Illness

Written by: Gravel, François
Translated by: Pomerance, Shelley

To obtain this ebook, visit one of the ebook retailers linked below

A writer’s witty and surprisingly optimistic account of learning to live with Parkinson’s disease. 

When he was sixty-five, François Gravel was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, upending the old age he had imagined for himself. As a way of contemplating his new life with a degenerative illness, he turned to what he knew best and loved most: writing. Gravel immersed himself in research on Parkinson’s, exploring its medical history and treatments and paying close attention to the changes he experienced, all in service of learning how to best manage his symptoms throughout the advancement of this incurable disease. 

With a lightness of touch that belies a difficult subject (he imagines Dr. Parkinson as a military man who has set up camp in his brain), Gravel shares what he has learned in a memoir that is at once charming, serious, and moving. He writes, “For a long time, I believed that Parkinson’s was a disease. Now, I realize it’s a philosophy course.” Colonel Parkinson in Charge is, in some ways, the companion text for this course, engaging with and demystifying a daunting subject to help readers better understand life with Parkinson’s disease.

A writer’s witty and surprisingly optimistic account of learning to live with Parkinson’s disease. 

When he was sixty-five, François Gravel was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, upending the old age he had imagined for himself. As a way of contemplating his new life with a degenerative illness, he turned to what he knew best and loved most: writing. Gravel immersed himself in research on Parkinson’s, exploring its medical history and treatments and paying close attention to the changes he experienced, all in service of learning how to best manage his symptoms throughout the advancement of this incurable disease. 

With a lightness of touch that belies a difficult subject (he imagines Dr. Parkinson as a military man who has set up camp in his brain), Gravel shares what he has learned in a memoir that is at once charming, serious, and moving. He writes, “For a long time, I believed that Parkinson’s was a disease. Now, I realize it’s a philosophy course.” Colonel Parkinson in Charge is, in some ways, the companion text for this course, engaging with and demystifying a daunting subject to help readers better understand life with Parkinson’s disease.

Published By House of Anansi Press Inc — Mar 7, 2023
Specifications 144 pages | 5 in x 8 in
Written By

FRANÇOIS GRAVEL studied economics and taught at the Cégep level until 2006. He is the author of over a hundred books for children and adults, many of which have received awards and distinctions. His adult novels include Ostende and Adieu, Betty Crocker, which have both been translated into English. Adieu, Betty Crocker was a competing title in the 2014 edition of Le combat des livres, the French-language equivalent of Canada Reads. He shares his time between Montreal and Île-aux-Grues.

Written By

FRANÇOIS GRAVEL studied economics and taught at the Cégep level until 2006. He is the author of over a hundred books for children and adults, many of which have received awards and distinctions. His adult novels include Ostende and Adieu, Betty Crocker, which have both been translated into English. Adieu, Betty Crocker was a competing title in the 2014 edition of Le combat des livres, the French-language equivalent of Canada Reads. He shares his time between Montreal and Île-aux-Grues.