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Carers in fiction - Carers UK Forum

Carers in fiction

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
I've been aware for some time that the media in general exclude certain people while focussing on others, and this is true even in most mainstream fiction. Not many characters in mainstream fiction, whether it's books, films, TV or other kinds, are dealing with health conditions / disabled or caring for others who are. I'm not saying it's always the case, but more often than not we're excluded. A lot of the times when people with health conditions are on TV then the story in someway revolves around the fact that they're disabled or when dumb jokes can be made about them. I see no reason why the main character in, say, a sitcom can't also have a health condition which effects them, but doesn't rule the show. They could still make the same jokes and have the same relationships etc.

So I was just wondering if anyone knows of any good story or film or anything that contains characters who are ill / carers but are just normal characters within a story without their illness / caring situation being the main focus.

Like I say, I know it's not always the case, but in the mainstream it's the majority.
I read a book by Patrick Gale, can't remember the name now, but it was really good. I will go and look it up later.
The main characters in the book were Carers, one for her mother with dementia, one for his brother, who had Downs Syndrome and was in a gay relationship. He was living with his partner,and the brother was on the outskirts of his life.
I cannot remember the rest of the story, just that it was an excellent book.
He has also written a book about a woman who had bipolar disorder,and took her own life,and her family are reviewing their lives with her.
I am terrible at remembering names of books, but Sebastian Faulkes has written a good one about a man who is a Carer for his mentally ill brother.
The stories, while having a Carer as main character do not have the whole story as a disability/Carer issue.
The books are upstairs in our house, but they have all been put away,as my daughter is decorating our spare room, so cannot access them at present.
"Notes from an exhibition" and "The whole day through,"by Patrick Gale

"Human Traces," by Sebastian Faulkes.
The Clematis Tree by Ann Widdecombe, well written and surprisingly, well I was surprised, insightful, I had difficulty putting it down.

Also Untold Stories by Alan Bennett, not fiction but the first story is an account of his mother's mental illness and eventual dementia told with Bennett's usual searing honesty, not least where his reaction and response is concerned.
Just had a look at that title Parsifal, that is one for my wish list.Sounds interesting.(The Clematis Tree).

Just thought of another one,
"My sister's keeper," by Jodi Picoult. She is an American writer,and this is a very good book.It is written through the eyes of the five family members and a lawyer.
It is a thought provoking book.
I have just read My Sister's Keeper, I agree that it is thought-provoking and, again, well-written, another book which I had difficulty putting down.
Could have named a few,
...but are just normal characters within a story without their illness / caring situation being the main focus.
narrows it down somewhat and makes it more of a challenge.

I have read some of the books by Patrick Gale, I do enjoy his books; also read the Judi Picoult one, it was a page turner but the book focus is around the illness/disability.

Shall be looking up the others, thanks folks.

Casualty, Waterloo Road and Eastenders have had storylines around caring and there was a drama recently that was about dementia (can't think of name at mo.)

Melly1
Inspector Jack Frost was caring for his terminally ill wife in the very first episode - Victor Meldrew's nosey neighbour was a carer ( Coming, Mother !) and I can think of quite a few dramas where the main character had caring responsibilities which really just featured in passing. We probably don't notice because the carer is doing the other things central to the plot which I think is a positive thing. Carers have lives too.
Some pretty good responses so far. I'm impressed Image
I went to stay with my parents not long ago and actually sat down and watched Ironside for the first time. I was impressed that the fact that he's in a wheelchair never seemed to enter any of the episodes I saw, not as some kind of issue anyway. And people helped him out without it being a big deal.

I've always found the Adrian Mole series to be one of the most realistic series of books I've read, as people get ill, care, grump about it and carry on with life. Also, Hilary McKays books about the Cassen family feature a friend / neighbour who's ill but her illness isn't a main part of the story line, just something that they deal with while the rest of the story continues.
...the main character had caring responsibilities which really just featured in passing. We probably don't notice because the carer is doing the other things central to the plot which I think is a positive thing. Carers have lives too.
Fantastic. That's what I think it should be like. No specific focus, just a regular character that happens to be a carer or have a health condition.
Hamlet has a fiancee with severe depression, Ophelia. Their difficult relationship and her suicide sets the tone for the whole play. King Lear is definitely raving in his dotage, which puts his daughter Cordelia on the spot as the only nice caring daughter - the other two are bitches and they all end up at war with each other fighting for the kingdom. Sound familiar? And Lady Macbeth is a raving murderous psychopath, so I suppose that makes Macbeth himself a sort of carer, if only because he has to go along with her increasingly wild demands for a quiet life.
Madness and disability of various kinds occurs in a quite a lot of Shakespeares plays, even the comedies, and Middleton and Rowleys Jacobean revenge drama "The Changeling" actually has a sub plot set in a private asylum.
Brechts "Mother Courage" is a sort of carer for her daughter, but it is a very convoluted and exploitative relationship and it all goes very wrong at the end.
So, just as in real life, these carers in fiction are first and foremost flawed people with dreams and aspirations of their own, the caring part is often warped and devious.