In the Kingdom of the Sick

In the Kingdom Of The Sick

In the Kingdom of the Sick is now on sale.

Thirty years ago, Susan Sontag 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.”

Now more than 133 million Americans live with chronic illness, accounting for nearly three-quarters of all health care dollars, and untold pain and disability. There has been an alarming rise in illnesses that defy diagnosis through clinical tests or have no known cure. Millions of people, especially women, with illnesses such as irritable bowel syndrome, chronic pain, and chronic fatigue syndrome face skepticism from physicians and the public alike. And people with diseases as varied as cardiovascular disease, HIV, certain cancers, and type 2 diabetes have been accused of causing their preventable illnesses through their lifestyle choices. We must balance our faith in medical technology with awareness of the limits of science, and confront our throwback beliefs that people who are sick have weaker character than those who are well.

Through research and patient narratives, health writer Laurie Edwards explores patient rights, the role of social media in medical advocacy, the origins of our attitudes about chronic illness, and much more. What The Noonday Demon did for people suffering from depression, In the Kingdom of the Sick does for those who are chronically ill.

What Critics Are Saying
“An indispensable book for anyone with or concerned about chronic disease, and everyone interested in the health professions.”–Booklist (starred review)

“Well researched..A timely call to action on a global health problem.”–Kirkus Reviews

“Carefully researched, well written, and accessible.”–Library Journal

“This is a fascinating overview of the myths, stigmas, events, and cultural attitudes that have shaped people’s perception of illness and disease throughout history. By sharing the personal accounts of individuals who have suffered from ignorance, misdiagnosis and skepticism, In the Kingdom of the Sick shines a bold light on chronic illness.”—Phyllis Greenberger, MSW, president and CEO of the Society for Women’s Health Research

“Laurie Edwards draws on the historical and scientific literatures, the reflections of patients and patient leaders and her own life as a person living with multiple chronic conditions to tell a compelling story. In the Kingdom of the Sick is surprising, revealing and beautifully written.”—Jessie Gruman, president of the Center for Advancing Health

“A probing, clear-thinking examination of the new medical crisis on our hands: chronic illness. Edwards brilliantly illustrates why our cultural assumptions and medical system must change if we are to remove the parentheses that chronic illness places around so many American lives.”—Donna Jackson Nakazawa, author of The Autoimmune Epidemic and The Last Best Cure

“Very original, enlightening and informed analysis of chronic illnesses, experienced by a growing number of people. Edwards goes beyond explaining illness as metaphor and acknowledges the biological realities of having illnesses most people don’t understand—such as chronic pain and fatigue—which are too often subject to stigma.”—Paula Kamen, author of All in My Head: An Epic Quest to Cure an Unrelenting, Totally Unreasonable, and Only Slightly Enlightening Headache

Select Reviews, Interviews, and Press:
Radio Interview, NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross
Radio Interview, Minnesota Public Radio’s The Daily Circuit
Review, Wall Street Journal
Feature story, USA Today
Feature, Georgetown University
Q&A, Ms. Magazine blog

From the Blogosphere:
Interview and give away, DiabetesMine
Review, Pop Health
Review, How To Cope with Pain
Q+A, Working with Illness
Review, SickMomma
Review, Everything Changes
Review, Never That Easy
Q&A, Getting Closer to Myself