At the Will of the Body: Reflections on Illness

At the Will of the Body: Reflections on Illness

by Arthur W. Frank, Arthur Frank


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In this deeply affecting memoir, Arthur W. Frank explores the events of illness from within: the transformation from person to patient, the pain, the wonder,and the ceremony of recovery. To illuminate what illness can teach us about life, Frank draws upon his own encounters with serious illness—a heart attack at age thirty-nine and, a year later, a diagnosis of cancer. In poignant and clear prose, he offers brilliant insights into what happens when our bodies and emotions are pushed to extremes. Ultimately, he examines what it means to be human.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780618219292
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 07/16/2002
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 176
Sales rank: 1,133,330
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.47(d)

About the Author

Arthur W. Frank received the Natalie Davis Spingarn Writer’s Award from the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship in 1996. He teaches at the University of Calgary.

Table of Contents

Illness as a Dangerous Opportunity1
Becoming Ill8
Illness as Incident16
Becoming Ill Again22
Seeing Through Pain29
Mourning What Is Lost36
Care Has No Recipe42
The Body as Territory and as Wonder50
The Cost of Appearances64
Chemotherapy and Adventure72
The Struggle Is Not a Fight83
Denial and Affirmation99
Comforters and Accusers108
Valuing Illness115
Listening to the Ill123
Ceremonies of Recovery129
Literary Debts157

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