‘The Recovering’ by Leslie Jamison

Fiona Wright at The Sydney Review of Books:

The Recovering is interested in resonance, or in what Jamison calls the ‘chorus’ – other voices, other narratives of both illness and recovery – and what they might offer to other people suffering or in pain. Resonance, she insists, isn’t ‘the same as conflation’ and doesn’t ‘mean pretending we’[ve] all lived the same thing.’ It’s not about ‘perfect correspondence’ but about ‘the possibility of company’, about fellowship, perhaps, or the realisation that our experiences are so often shared, that they aren’t ever unique, and that it’s precisely this commonality that makes them important. ‘Every addiction,’ she writes, ‘lives at the intersection between public and private experience.’ So too, perhaps, every illness, every bodily injury, everything that changes the way in which we are in the world.

In a way, then, this book is very much a continuation of the work of Jamison’s 2014 collection of essays The Empathy Exams, a book which was incredibly important to me while I was writing about my illness for the first time.

more here.