The Unravelling
How our caregiving safety net came unstrung and we were left grasping at threads, struggling to plait a new one
  • Publication Date: September 12, 2017
  • ISBN: 9781988298153 / 1988298156
  • 240 pages; 10" x 6"

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The Unravelling

How our caregiving safety net came unstrung and we were left grasping at threads, struggling to plait a new one

  • Publication Date: September 12, 2017
  • ISBN: 9781988298153 / 1988298156
  • 240 pages; 10" x 6"

Olivier Martini and his mother, Catherine, have lived together since he was diagnosed with schizophrenia thirty-six years ago. It hasn’t always been a perfect living situation, but it’s worked—Catherine has been able to help Olivier through the ups and downs of living with a mental illness, and Olivier has been able to care for his aging mother as her mobility becomes limited, and Olivier’s brothers Clem and Nic have been able to provide support to both as well. But then Olivier experiences a health crisis at the exact same time that his mother starts slipping into dementia.

The Martini family’s lifelong struggle with mental illness is suddenly complicated immeasurably as they begin to navigate the convoluted world of assisted living and long-term care. With anger, dry humour, and hope, The Unravelling tells the story of one family’s journey with mental illness, dementia, and caregiving, through a poignant graphic narrative from Olivier accompanied by text from his brother, award-winning playwright and novelist Clem Martini.

Clem Martini is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter and author. He is a professor in the Department of Drama at the University of Calgary. Olivier Martini’s sketches, paintings, and prints have been displayed at the Marion McGrath Gallery and Studio Three Gallery, published in Alberta Views magazine, and were included as part of the Canadian Mental Health’s Copernicus Project. Both Olivier and Clem live in Calgary. Their book Bitter Medicine: A Graphic Memoir of Mental Illness won the 2010 City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Book Award.