“Disabled people have long made their own hacks.”
Tag: Illness & Medicine
Thy Face Tomorrow
What does it take to live without the ability to smile or move half of one’s face? For that matter, what does it take to live at all?
What Happens When a Metaphor Becomes Real?
The humanities can reveal the truth of the world’s crises, everything from contagions like the pandemic to apocalypses like right-wing violence.
Mother of a Pandemic
If there is a way forward for the “pandemic novel,” it may be in Emma Donoghue’s claustrophobic settings of motherhood and childbirth.
Reading Patients, Writing Care
A palliative-care physician’s memoir foregrounds the affective aspects of attending to patients as an avenue to political activism.
It’s the Geography, Stupid! Planetary Urbanization Revealed
Covid-19 spread so rapidly because urbanization is now planetary: connecting disparate territories through flows of goods and people.
The Art of Care: Susannah Cahalan on Madness, Diagnosis, and COVID-19
“These are not the stories that medicine necessarily wants us to tell, but that means it’s even doubly important that we try our best to track down these narratives.”
The Danger of Intimate Algorithms
We must reimagine our algorithmic systems as responsible innovations that serve to support liberatory and just societies.
We Must Heal Each Other
At some point, it became a mark of privilege to talk about “self-care.” Once unknown outside the niches of trauma therapists and burned-out activists, the concept has become so mainstream that it’s ...
What Future for Magic Mushrooms?
Hallucinogenic mushrooms have been used for centuries by numerous indigenous peoples around the world. These fungi appear in Aztec statues (like the one ...
Our Drugs, Ourselves
Is the term “drugs” still meaningful? Many of us would confess to being at least mildly dependent on some substance, be it single-origin coffee or Sancerre, antidepressants or anti-inflammatories ...
Who Is Sick and Who Is Well?
I might be tempted to describe Terese Mailhot’s new memoir, Heart Berries, as “raw,” had she not warned against it. “The danger politically or artistically is that ...
How the “Omega Male” Becomes a Psychopath
Among the many prurient pleasures offered by contemporary literature are thrillers hawking creative mistreatments of women. The subgenre’s prime was the ...
Unsex the Lab
Kit Owens, the protagonist of Megan Abbott’s Give Me Your Hand, is a postdoc in the research lab of academic rock star Dr. Lena Severin; Severin has just received a prestigious research grant when Kit’s ...
Darwin’s Beard and George Eliot’s Hands
“Ah even in death he is beautiful, beautiful in death, as one that hath fallen on sleep.” Thus did Percy Bysshe Shelley describe the tuberculosis death of his friend John ...
The Triumph of Afrikaans Fiction
I’m reading one of the great novels of our time. I’m doing so slowly because it’s in Afrikaans, and although I learned the language for many years in South ...
Doctor Stories and Patient Stories
Richard Powers’s The Echo Maker tells the story of a Nebraskan meat-packer who crashes his truck into the ditch of a river. He awakens from a coma with Capgras ...
Analytic Rage: The Genius of Jenny Diski
I picked up a copy of Jenny Diski’s first novel, Nothing Natural, at random a few decades ago at an airport bookstore. I read it on the flight from Heathrow to JFK with a degree of shocked ...
Ask most people living with a disability to name their least favorite question and “what happened to you?” will be high on the list. “Wanting to educate yourself about disability and learn more is ...
Maylis de Kerangal’s Réparer les vivants, beautifully translated into English by Sam Taylor and published as The Heart, has been something of a publishing sensation in France, and beyond. I am ...