Laurie Edwards

In the Kingdom of the Sick


A landmark book about the growth in chronic illnesses and how science, technology, and culture are impacting the lives of people who are sick.

Thirty years ago, Susan Sontag famously wrote, “Everyone who is born holds dual citizenship, in the kingdom of the well and the kingdom of the sick . . . Sooner or later each of us is obliged, at least for a spell, to identify ourselves as citizens of that other place.” More than 133 million Americans now live with chronic illness, accounting for nearly three quarters of all health care dollars and untold pain, disability, and heartbreak. Patients with diseases as varied as HIV, cancer, or type 2 diabetes have been stigmatized, accused of causing their preventable illnesses through their lifestyle choices. People with irritable bowel syndrome and female patients with chronic fatigue syndrome have been told their symptoms were due to anxiety; and millions of people with chronic pain have faced skepticism from physicians and the public alike. What The Noonday Demon did for people suffering from depression, Laurie Edwards does for those who are chronically ill, championing their cause and giving voice to their lament.

Laurie Edwards holds a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Emerson College. She teaches a writing course designed for students of the health professional at Northeastern University. Her essays and articles have been published in the Boston Globe Magazine,, and, and on her blog, She currently is developing a creative writing program for chronically ill children at Children's Hospital Boston, for which she was recently awarded a Teachers as Writers Fellowship from the prestigious Calderwood Writing Initiative at the Boston Athenaeum. This is her first book.

Publisher: Bloomsbury
Published: 01-10-2014
Format: Paperback
Edition: 1st
Extent: 256
ISBN: 9781620406281
Imprint: Bloomsbury USA
Dimensions: 210 x 140 mm

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