Blending an eclectic mish-mash of medical history with hilarious anecdotes about her own unsavory illnesses, real or imagined, Traig (Devil in the Details) creates a self-poking, sympathetic memoir. Essentially, these are essays about her various "somatoform disorders," a condition, as she describes, "in which you translate stress, or unhappiness, or too much free time, into actual physical symptoms." Coming to terms with a body she always hated, the author, who is the daughter of a doctor, has grown comfortable diagnosing her own aches and pains, thanks especially to the Internet, and delves merrily into a chronological account of her sufferings from childhood to adulthood: food poisoning at Jewish summer camp, anorexia, compulsive obsessive disorder, "essential tremor," eczema, irritable bowel syndrome, bad teeth. Occasionally, she offers tongue-and-cheek history, when hypochondria was blamed on an excess of black bile, called the "Hebraic debility." Traig can write winningly about the 10-pound weight of her oversized breasts or home stool collection and still be charmingly witty. She savors the attention that being sick accords her, though the cure-all Prozac has robbed her of her complaints and granted her the unthinkable: health and happiness. (July)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Well Enough Alone: A Cultural History of My Hypochondriaby Jennifer Traig
Jennifer Traig does not suffer from lupus, multiple sclerosis, Crohn's Disease, or muscular dystrophy. Nor does she have SUDS, the mysterious disorder that claims healthy young Asian men in their sleep. What she does have is/b>/i>
The hilarious first-person account of life as a hypochondriac-from the critically acclaimed author of Devil in the Details.
Jennifer Traig does not suffer from lupus, multiple sclerosis, Crohn's Disease, or muscular dystrophy. Nor does she have SUDS, the mysterious disorder that claims healthy young Asian men in their sleep. What she does have is hypochondria. In Well Enough Alone, Traig provides an uproariously funny inquiry into her ailment, as well as a well-researched history of the disorder. While chronicling her life as a hypochondriac and the minor conditions that helped to fuel her persistent self-diagnosis, she offers a literary tour of the disorder's past and present. And by the end, her journey leaves her more knowledgeable, a little less neurotic, and-one might say-healthier.
-A.J. Jacobs, author of The Year of Living Biblically
"Who knew life as a hypochondriac could be so witty and hilarious?"
"Fellow sufferers will find it a stitch."
"Charming, quick, and very funny."
-San Francisco Chronicle
"Well Enough Alone gave me enormous reading pleasure from a beguilingly smart and perfectly healthy writer."
-John Hodgman, author of More Information than You Require
- Penguin Publishing Group
- Publication date:
- Sold by:
- Penguin Group
- NOOK Book
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- File size:
- 2 MB
- Age Range:
- 18 Years
Meet the Author
Jennifer Traig is the author of Devil in the Details: Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood and a frequent contributor to The Forward and McSweeney’s. She holds a Ph.D. in Literature and resides in Berkeley, California.
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