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In the Country of Illness : Comfort and…

In the Country of Illness : Comfort and Advice for the Journey

by Robert Lipsyte

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A NYT columnist writing about his own cancer diagnosis and survival, and his wife's eventual death. Mostly quite good - the only thing I didn't like was the change of tone when he interspersed advice. ( )
  bobbieharv | Apr 8, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679431829, Hardcover)

Robert Lipsyte had it all: a happy marriage, two healthy children, a successful career as a big-city journalist. He also had the first signs of testicular cancer, diagnosed with the disease at age 40. So begins Lipsyte's memoir of living with cancer--and almost dying of it on several occasions. Lipsyte names this strange land of cancer, doctors, and hospitals "Malady." It is a place outside the realm of everyday existence, which Lipsyte first experienced "on a deluxe package tour"; he wouldn't check out of Malady for three weeks. This isn't a philosophical book. Lipsyte doesn't ask "Why me?" It is instead a book of learning to live with cancer and facing mortality. Lipsyte, someone who has not only lived with cancer himself but watched as cancer consumed his beloved ex-wife (the disease took its toll on his marriage as well as his health), offers solid, sensible advice.

Into the Country of Illness is an unconventional read, juxtaposing cancer and humor, or, more appropriately, what Lipsyte terms "tumor humor." Although this is an uncomfortable concept, Lipsyte regards humor as a "chemotherapy for the spirit," necessary to deal with the awfulness of this horrible disease. This is an enlightening book on the darkest of subjects.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:12 -0400)

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