In her debut book, Hattrick addresses with gusto the poorly understood condition of ME/CFS with which both she and her mother live. Her title plays on the ambiguities relating to this ‘medically unexplained’ illness, whose very labelling continues to be contentious and divisive. Hattrick unpacks the ways sufferers feel ill, but also the feelings they have about being ill and about the attitude of others towards CFS….
Bette Howland (Picador, 2021) pbk, £14.99 Originally published in 1974, this is an account by the author of the time she spent as an inpatient in a psychiatric ward of a hospital in Chicago, having taken a life-threatening overdose. It piqued the interest of Brigid Hughes, editor of Public Space magazine, who came across it Read More
Neuropsychologist Paul Broks combines an exploration of consciousness and mortality, framed within a personal experience of losing his wife to cancer. He warns the reader it is a ‘rambling, ramshackle house they’re about to enter’ where ‘fact sits alongside fiction’ and ‘science tangles with myth’. Acknowledging a shared human fragility, he intersperses descriptions of patients with neurological disorders who ’inhabit the twilight zones of the mind’ with a meandering series of visits to some of his own.
Jill Hopper(Saraband Books, 2021); hbk, 2021) Billed as a memoir of beginnings and endings this is the first book by Jill Hopper, a London based freelance journalist. It joins the growing number of personal accounts of loss and grief such as Joyce Carol Oates’ A Widow’s Story, or Megan O’ Rourke’s The Long Goodbye. Collectively Read More
This little book addresses big themes. It is a serious but engaging essay which invites reflection on loss and the ways we respond to it, individually and collectively, and how these have changed culturally over time. Josipovici tightly structures twelve short sections, each focussing on an aspect of forgetting and its counterpart remembering, weaving them Read More