Tag: Illness & Medicine

Show Me Where It Hurts: Part 2

In this second part of my survey of the growing field of graphic medicine, I review four recent nonfiction books about health, illness, recovery and loss. These books vary in many respects—in their ...

Show Me Where It Hurts: Part 1

Illness, mental and physical, is arguably comics’ invisible master theme, deeply woven into their genome and shaping the stories they tell, from the earliest newspaper strips (chronic allergies in ...

Oliver’s Body

Some autism spectrum and disability activists have turned, in an age in which Asperger syndrome has come to describe Silicon Valley’s new normal, to a figure of the neuroqueer.1 If queerness came, by ...

On Longer Lives and Longer Deaths

America has many open secrets. The nursing home is one of them. We try not to think too hard or too long about its residents or its low-wage staff. We’ll confront its smell, its humiliations, its bleakness, only once we need it ...

Immigrants and Illness

Illness stories recount a person’s experience with sickness and disease, often following the journey from the onset of the illness to its diagnosis, to treatment and recovery. They’ve gained ...

Why Is Drug Use Forbidden?

If the 20th was the century of the prohibition of drugs, the 21st has every chance to be the century of their liberation. An increasing number of initiatives—state, national, and international—have ...

Falling Faintly: McEwan’s Latest

In 1893, the Scottish writer William Sharp began publishing poetry under the pseudonym Fiona MacLeod. MacLeod’s poems caught the eye of W. B. Yeats, who admired her lyricism even as he disdained the ...

Walking with the Unconsoled

What can we expect imaginative writing to do in the face of unalleviated grief? If one of fiction’s strengths remains its expression of irreducibly singular minds, what role then might it play in ...

A Head of His Time

Recently longlisted for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, John Corey Whaley’s eagerly awaited second novel, Noggin, promises second chances: life after death. Or not death ...

Through the Looking Glass

Although the numbers are at epidemic levels (in the United States, it is estimated to affect 1 in 68 children and 1 in 42 boys),1 autism remains a singular experience—as unique as each individual ...

Conversion Sickness

“Nathaniel P. is George Eliot. Nathaniel P. is Tolstoy.” Thus proclaimed a friend of mine in adulation of young novelist Adelle Waldman’s widely acclaimed debut, The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P ...

Cancer’s Poison Gift

S. Lochlann Jain’s Malignant: How Cancer Becomes Us is both a memoir of the author’s personal journey as a cancer patient and a trenchant analysis of why preventing cancer has never been an American ...

Mo Yan through a Dog’s Eyes

Mo Yan, born Guan Moye, is widely regarded as one of contemporary China’s most talented and accomplished authors. Predictably, his receipt of the 2012 Nobel Prize for Literature has brought him an ...

Sentient Instruments

Things had been tough since Dee got back from Iraq. She and her husband were sleeping on opposite sides of the bed. “I’m sorry you’re not getting laid,” she snapped at him, “but I’m still seeing my ...

Less Vital Phenomena

A recent New York Times profile of Anthony Marra, the author of A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, notes that “until the Boston Marathon bombings most Americans paid little attention to Chechnya.”1 ...

Michael Pollan’s Dilemma

In the 20th anniversary edition of On Food and Cooking, the celebrated food writer Harold McGee claims that “to understand what’s happening within a food as we cook it, we need to be familiar with ...

The History of Secrets

Family Secrets by Deborah Cohen injects the marrow back into two centuries of skeletons locked away in household closets. A leading historian of modern Britain and Europe, Cohen has put together a ...