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Anyone who writes about illness must quote Illness as Metaphor, and Skloot (Summer Blue) uses Susan Sontag's book for both the title and the epigraph: "Illness is the night-side of life," says Sontag. "Everyone who is born holds dual citizenship, in the kingdom of the well and in the kingdom of the sick." Before he got Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) in 1988, Skloot was, as he often reiterates, firmly a citizen of the former: a runner "with a corkboard of ribbons" and without "an ounce of fat," he became habitually weak, forgetful, flu-ish. He quit his job as a "Senior Public Policy Analyst for a diversified energy corporation" but continued to work on his writing, turning out these essays, many of which have appeared in magazines such as The Antioch Review, Threepenny Review and even JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association. One, which appeared in The Best American Essays of 1993, is an affecting description of life with a brain that is no longer agile. Two other early pieces are also worthwhile: his musings on being a research subject ("Here I am with an illness that too many people already suspect as being psychosomatic; what happens if I get better during the clinical trial and it turns out I've been getting the placebo?") and on his memories of his mother's carefully packaged apartment, in which everything was embalmed in Saran Wrap. The pieces that work best approach the illness indirectly. Without a larger philosophy or dry humor (his sections on alternative medicine compare badly with Spalding Gray's), Skloot's writing on his illness, especially one received with so little sympathy by the general public, seems self-indulgent.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
The Night-Side is an account of the illness experience. Deeply moving, sometimes humorous, filled with wonder as well as grief, it is an honest and ultimately hopeful exploration of what it means to have your life shattered by disease. Floyd Skloot was a long distance runner, poet and novelist, a successful public policy analyst, parent of two teenage children, gourmet chef, and an active participant in civic activities. On December 7, 1988, he woke up sick in a hotel room across the street from the White House, and his life has never been the same. In The Night-Side, Skloot shares with us his citizenship in that vast community of people united by the experience of illness. Whether undergoing the rigors of an experimental drug trial, traveling to Germany to visit with an Indian avatar and to Canada for exotic alternative therapy, re-assessing his life-long relationship to baseball, finding a new way to write after damage to his brain destroyed his old way, or discovering passion and love in the midst of illness. Skloot speaks with a poet's sensibility and the compassion of an artist who has been forced to re-create his life. The Night-Side is inspirational reading for anyone facing the impact of traumatic, life-changing illness. -- Midwest Book Review
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Book Description Story Line Press, 1996. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1885266316
Book Description Story Line Press, 1996. Paperback. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX1885266316
Book Description Story Line Press, 1996. Paperback. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P111885266316
Book Description Story Line Press. PAPERBACK. Condition: New. 1885266316 New Condition. Seller Inventory # NEW7.0797705