COVER FEATURE

Illness & Literature

“Death is its own invention with its own effect and its own observances. You regard the failing body. The body is the vessel.”– “Closer to Where You Will Find Him,” by Michael Mattes

“I say to myself, ‘If I can write, I can get better.’ And suddenly, that is what I want. I want to get better. I will not accept myself in this condition, sick and disabled.” – “The First Day,” by Goli Taraghi

  • A closeup of browned leaves on a tree branch
       By Xavier Bordes
    Photo: Claus Grünstäudl/Unsplash Maybe it will be like the end of a yearwhen you find yourself alone in a deserted roomlike a statue at the end of a public garden pathfaced with bare autumn after the...
  • A hallway in a hospital with an door open just before a window lit by the sun
       By Michael Mattes
    Photo: Erkan Utu/Pexels What I see upon entering a hospital room in St. Paul at dawn. My nieces asleep, one on a cot against the wall, the other in a chair beside the bed, holding my sister’...
  • A close-up of the weather worn hands of a angel statue
       By Mélanie Fazi
    Photo: Michael Gaida/Pixabay Following a hysterectomy, a woman is drawn to the gothic ambience of a stone statuary garden at her lover’s family’s home. My third sleepless night in t...
  • A poster reprints an image of a muscled figure three times with the words "Health for All 2050"
       By Yoss
    For “El Negro” Fontanarrosa, for his lawless fat men . . . A 2050 public health campaign goes too far, resulting in allergy-free municipalities, fines for obesity, and exile to the Isle of the Si...
  • The tip of a white pencil laying on a piece of white paper
       By Goli Taraghi
      The doctor knows about my love of writing. She brings me a handful of white paper and some sharp pencils. I sit at the table and am frozen. What should I write? How? Where should I begin?...

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