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Ann Hedreen

Photo_HedreenAnn Hedreen is a writer, filmmaker, teacher and voice of the radio podcast and blog, The Restless Nest. She and her husband Rustin Thompson own White Noise Productions. Together, they have made more than 100 films, many of which have been seen on PBS and other TV stations all over the world and some of which have won Emmys and other awards. They have two grown-up children and live in south Seattle.

Ann has an MFA from Goddard College and is an alumna of the Hedgebrook center for women writers. Her work has been published in Seattle Metropolitan Magazine (“Alzheimer’s: Laughter and Forgetting,” Society of Professional Journalists’ First Place/Pacific Northwest winner for Science & Health reporting, 2012) Courageous Creativity, Verbalist’s Journal, the Pitkin Review, the Seattle Times, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Grist, the Sunday Observer of Bombay, the Galen Stone Review and broadcast on NPR affiliate KUOW. She earned her B.A. at Wellesley College and began her career at the City News Bureau of Chicago.

Ann speaks and writes frequently about Alzheimer’s disease and has volunteered as a control subject for many Alzheimer’s studies. So far, she’s undergone five spinal taps for the cause.


About Her Beautiful Brain

Arlene was a twice-divorced, once-widowed copper miner’s daughter who raised six kids singlehandedly and got her bachelor’s and master’s degree at forty so she could support her family. In her late fifties, she started showing signs of Alzheimer’s disease—and in the two decades that followed, her children were forced to stand helplessly by as their mother’s once-beautiful brain slowly unraveled.

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.