A Body Made of Glass: A Cultural History of Hypochondria

A Body Made of Glass: A Cultural History of Hypochondria

by Caroline Crampton
A Body Made of Glass: A Cultural History of Hypochondria

A Body Made of Glass: A Cultural History of Hypochondria

by Caroline Crampton

Hardcover

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Overview

Part cultural history, part literary criticism, and part memoir, A Body Made of Glass is a definitive biography of hypochondria.

Caroline Crampton’s life was upended at the age of seventeen, when she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a relatively rare blood cancer. After years of invasive treatment, she was finally given the all clear. But being cured of the cancer didn’t mean she felt well. Instead, the fear lingered, and she found herself always on the alert, braced for signs that the illness had reemerged. 

Now, in A Body Made of Glass, Crampton has drawn from her own experiences with health anxiety to write a revelatory exploration of hypochondria—a condition that, though often suffered silently, is widespread and rising. She deftly weaves together history, memoir, and literary criticism to make sense of this invisible and underexplored sickness. From the earliest medical case of Hippocrates to the literary accounts of sufferers like Virginia Woolf and Marcel Proust to the modern perils of internet self-diagnosis, Crampton unspools this topic to reveal the far-reaching impact of health anxiety on our physical, mental, and emotional health.

At its heart, Crampton explains, hypochondria is a yearning for knowledge. It is a never-ending attempt to replace the edgeless terror of uncertainty with the comforting solidity of a definitive explanation. Through intimate personal stories and compelling cultural perspectives, A Body Made of Glass brings this uniquely ephemeral condition into much-needed focus for the first time.


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780063273900
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication date: 04/23/2024
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 170,375
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.30(h) x 2.10(d)

About the Author

Caroline Crampton is a writer and reviewer who covers a wide variety of subjects for the Guardian, the Spectator, the Mail On Sunday, and other publications. Her first book, The Way to the Sea, was published by Granta in 2019She appears regularly as a critic on BBC Radio 4. She lives in Merseyside, England.

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