Oh, sure, you can do last-minute Christmas shopping for another scented candle, or a lovely piece of pottery that might end up on the yard sale table together some day. Or you can decide to shop for a truly useful gift for any women in your life who have been diagnosed with heart disease. Here’s why, in my admittedly biased view, that gift should be A Woman’s Guide to Living with Heart Disease (Johns Hopkins University Press) – along with some simple and painless ways for you to make that happen in time for Santa’s arrival: Continue reading “What to get the heart patient who has (almost) everything. . .”
The ink was barely dry on the book contract I’d signed with Johns Hopkins University Press on the morning I tuned in, as I like to do every weekend, to Michael Enright’s Sunday Edition show on CBC Radio.
Michael’s guest that morning couldn’t have been more appropriate, given the project I was just beginning. A physician-turned-author named Dr. Suzanne Koven was talking about people who write first-person accounts of their health crises, books that Michael indelicately referred to as “sick lit“.(1) . Illness, Michael began, is always more interesting to the ill person than to the reader. But Dr. Koven quickly interjected. Continue reading “When an illness narrative isn’t just about illness”