Sick by Porochista Khakpour
A Memoir

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In the book’s occasional “interlude,” the tension lifts as Khakpour reflects on her experiences, and I wish she’d made more room for reflection overall. “Sick” would have been stronger with a more complex texture, but she skimps on emotional complication in favor of hurtling forward.
-Star Tribune

Synopsis

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A powerful, beautifully rendered memoir of chronic illness, misdiagnosis, addiction, and the myth of full recovery.

For as long as author Porochista Khakpour can remember, she has been sick. For most of that time, she didn't know why. Several drug addictions, some major hospitalizations, and over $100,000 later, she finally had a diagnosis: late-stage Lyme disease. 

Sick is Khakpour's grueling, emotional journey—as a woman, an Iranian-American, a writer, and a lifelong sufferer of undiagnosed health problems—in which she examines her subsequent struggles with mental illness and her addiction to doctor prescribed benzodiazepines, that both aided and eroded her ever-deteriorating physical health. Divided by settings, Khakpour guides the reader through her illness by way of the locations that changed her course—New York, LA, Santa Fe, and a college town in Germany—as she meditates on the physiological and psychological impacts of uncertainty, and the eventual challenge of accepting the diagnosis she had searched for over the course of her adult life. 

A story of survival, pain, and transformation, Sick candidly examines the colossal impact of illness on one woman's life by not just highlighting the failures of a broken medical system but by also boldly challenging our concept of illness narratives.

 

About Porochista Khakpour

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Porochista Khakpour was born in Tehran, Iran, in 1978. She attended Sarah Lawrence College and the Johns Hopkins University writing seminars MA program. Her writing has appeared in the Chicago Reader, The Village Voice, nymag.com, Paper, Nylon, Gear, Alef, Bidoun, and nerve.com, among others.
 
Published June 5, 2018 by Harper Perennial. 272 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Health, Fitness & Dieting. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Sick
All: 2 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Good
on Mar 01 2018

Lucid, eloquent, and unflinchingly honest, Khakpour’s book is not just about a woman’s relationship to illness, but also a remarkably trenchant reflection on personal and human frailty. A courageously intimate memoir about living within a body that has “never felt at ease.”

Read Full Review of Sick: A Memoir | See more reviews from Kirkus

Star Tribune

Above average
Reviewed by MARIAN RYAN on Jun 15 2018

In the book’s occasional “interlude,” the tension lifts as Khakpour reflects on her experiences, and I wish she’d made more room for reflection overall. “Sick” would have been stronger with a more complex texture, but she skimps on emotional complication in favor of hurtling forward.

Read Full Review of Sick: A Memoir | See more reviews from Star Tribune

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