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Love and Fatigue in America
     

Love and Fatigue in America

5.0 2
by Roger King
 

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When an Englishman receives an invitation from an American university, he embraces it as a jubilant new beginning. Instead, on arrival, he is stricken with a persistent inability to stand up or think straight. Diagnosed with ME disease—also called chronic fatigue syndrome—he moves restlessly across his newly adopted country, searching for a love and a life

Overview

When an Englishman receives an invitation from an American university, he embraces it as a jubilant new beginning. Instead, on arrival, he is stricken with a persistent inability to stand up or think straight. Diagnosed with ME disease—also called chronic fatigue syndrome—he moves restlessly across his newly adopted country, searching for a love and a life suited to his new condition. Love and Fatigue in America briskly compresses an illness, a nation, and an era in a masterly blend of literary forms.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
When invited to teach at a university in Spokane, Washington, the unnamed British narrator of King's (Horizontal Hotel) extraordinary autobiographical novel heads eagerly toward the promise of the American West. However, after collapsing in the gym and being diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome—comprising "a rag-tag gang of misfit symptoms"—he and his loyal dog Arthur find themselves untethered, drifting across the country searching for somewhere to settle. His travels take him from doctor to ineffective doctor, from hospitable hosts to anonymous motels, and from bed to couch and back again as he struggles to find, at 40, who he is and what he's become. Although his romantic relationships fail, he does enjoy moments of startling tenderness: the undemanding love of Mary and her young daughter Zoe, who linger long in his heart; the flickering kindness of waitresses; and the unexpected intimacy granted him at a lingerie shop. What finally offers solace and meaning here is not to be found in biology or fate—although the narrator often feels crushed beneath both—but compassion. Throughout his domestic happiness in New Mexico, the dizzying energy of youth and sex in San Francisco, and the peace of a cabin in smalltown Massachusetts, the narrator's exhaustion never infects the writing. The narrative expertly cobbles together unexpected moments of poetry; meditations on illness, war, and ambition; and vignettes, which—like the narrator himself—alternately admit devastating failures and sing with triumph. (Mar.)
From the Publisher

“King fashions a rich, compelling, and often wry narrative. . . . He captures ‘the labor of being sick in America.’”—Eric J. Iannelli, Times Literary Supplement

“This moving autobiographical novel . . . brings into relief many of America’s follies and excesses, most notably our health-care system. . . . After more than fifteen years, America brings the narrator ‘not aspiration realized, nor a largeness of life fitting to its open spaces, but the nascent ability to be satisfied with less.’”—The New Yorker

A painfully beautiful book. It’s also gloriously sexy and . . . among the finest depictions of queer life in 1990s San Francisco.  Poetic, tragic, and often euphoric, it’s the kind of story that I found myself wanting to live inside of.”—The Gay and Lesbian Review

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780299287238
Publisher:
University of Wisconsin Press
Publication date:
03/26/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
254
Sales rank:
1,169,551
File size:
518 KB

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Roger King is the author of four previous novels: Horizontal Hotel, Written on a Stranger’s Map, Sea Level, and A Girl from Zanzibar. Since 1991 he has suffered from ME disease. A native of London, he lives in Leverett, Massachusetts.

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Love and Fatigue in America 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a beautiful book that gives the best sense of what its like to suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. For those of us who are patients, it is a way to have our loved ones and friends better understand how it feels to suffer from this illness. I highly recommend this book for anyone, but particularly for those of us affected by CFS.
everrillo More than 1 year ago
Love and Fatigue in a America is a rarity among illness memoirs; it is truthful without descending into pathos. King's dry humor infuses this book with a kind of perspective one rarely sees in autobiographies, and his honesty will resonate with anyone who has had this or any other life-altering illness. Nothing I've ever read on this subject has given me greater insight than King's eloquent portrayal of a man whose life has suddenly taken a left turn into nowhere.  This is a book that should be read by everyone who has had ME/CFS, or who knows anyone with  the illness. Highly recommended.