Arlene was a twice divorced, once-widowed copper miner's daughter who raised six kids singlehandedly and went back to college at forty so she could support her family. In her late fifties, she started showing signs of Alzheimer’s disease, and in nearly two decades that followed, her children were forced to stand helplessly by as their mother’s once-beautiful brain slowly suffocated. In this poignant memoir, Ann Hedreen gives shattering insight into what it is to watch your mother, a woman you once thought of as invincible, begin to disappear. From Seattle to Haiti to the mine-gouged Finntown neighborhood in Butte, Montana where Arlene was born and raised, Her Beautiful Brain tells the heartbreaking story of a daughter’s love for a mother lost in the wilderness of an unpredictable and harrowing illness.
Ann Hedreen is a writer, filmmaker, teacher and voice of the radio podcast and blog, The Restless Nest. Ann and her husband own White Noise Productions. Together they have made more than 100 films including the award winning 2004 documentary, Quick Brown Fox: an Alzheimer’s Story. They live in South Seattle, Washington. A graduate of Wellesley College and Goddard College she worked for many years as a journalist in Chicago.