This collection of ten essays addresses the suffering of patients and how individuals as well as the larger society understand that suffering and try to ameliorate it. Four essays are personal reflections on illness, often interspersed with analyses of literary texts and including original poetry and creative prose. These pieces reveal how suffering is intensely private, how it happens interstitially, between medical appointments, procedures, and treatments. The essays reveal how, for many people, the psychological fragmentation that typically accompanies serious disease is ultimately more threatening to one's overall well-being than the disease itself. The other six essays take a wider view of patienthood, examining it through the lens of history, politics, or culture. As a whole, this thoughtful volume attests to the rich intellectual and personal gains that result from an exploration of the condition of patienthood and what it means to become "patient".
Contributors: Kimberly R. Myers, Harold Schweizer, Kristin A. Lindgren, Carol Schilling, Gayle Whittier, Tess Gallagher, Susanne Berthier-Foglar, John Rickard, Amy R. McCready, Lisa Diedrich, Catalina Florescu, Tara McGann.
About the editors:
Harold Schweizer is John P. Crozer Professor of English Literature at Bucknell University. His most recent book is On Waiting (2008).
Kimberly R. Myers is Associate Professor in the Department of Humanities in the College of Medicine and in the Department of English at The Pennsylvania State University. Her book, Illness in the Academy: A Collection of Pathographies by Academics, appeared in 2007.
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