YA authors now find themselves walking the fine line between fiction and reality. They have a duty to portray illness accurately, as they must avoid harmfully romanticising dying…they must also be careful not to cross into territory which is too upsetting.
Posts Tagged: cancer
“It’s like peeping over the edge of the world while remembering you’ve left your spectacles on the kitchen table,” she writes of her cruelly paradoxical situation: knowing that death is on its way without knowing when exactly it will arrive.
Jenny Diski has inoperable lung cancer—and the prolific British essayist has chosen to write through it, often addressing her cancer in a “pull-me, push-me” structure alongside the three years she spent as the foster daughter of Doris Lessing....more
Tonight the mass of girls before me in the arena, swarming like insects, raises a question of economy. How many waitressing shifts, humid summer jobs, and hours babysitting does it take to hold these five boys aloft, to lard the fiefdom?
Michele Serros passed away from cancer earlier this year, but her influence—and her infectiousness—lives through just about everyone/thing/place she encountered; Jessica Langlois shares a glimpse of that at the Los Angeles Review of Books:
Michele believed her stories deserved to be told — little everyday stories about one life, hers.
Anne Boyer writes about the history of breast cancer for The New Inquiry.
There is no disease more calamitous to women’s intellectual history than breast cancer: this is because there is no disease more distinctly calamitous to women. There is also no disease more voluminous in its agonies, agonies not only about the disease itself, but also about what is not written about it, or whether to write about it, or how.
Sometimes writers end up diagnosed with the very same disease they’ve inflicted on their characters. Natalie Serber knows firsthand—she received a breast cancer diagnosis halfway through creating Mona Brown, a character in her latest novel. Over at Beyond the Margins, Serber writes about sharing a diseases with Mona:
First I had to survive.
I don’t remember what I was doing when my aunt called to tell me my father was dying....more
A memoir of life as a disappointed fan becomes a meditation on “isolation and the things we do to overcome our loneliness… emptiness, and not knowing how to fill it.”...more
In Jami Attenberg’s new novel, a woman flees her comfortable life and finds a mixed bag of possibilities in Sin City....more
Loss and longing sit side-by-side with unexpected humor in Laura van den Berg’s stories, reminding readers of the strange things we encounter every day....more
Tinkers is a novel steeped in, and obsessed with, minutiae. Whether describing the inner workings of a clock, the network of ducts and wires that runs through a home, or the contents of a salesman’s cart, Paul Harding seems to constantly hold a jeweler’s loupe up to the reader’s eye....more