Advance Praise for Rewriting Illness
“In Rewriting Illness, Elizabeth Benedict isn’t just rewriting the narrative she’s given when she’s diagnosed with cancer–she’s gifting us her company, which I couldn’t get enough of. With grace, wit, and refreshing candor, she turned her encounter with cancer into an intimate drama, a dark comedy, and a meditation on marriage, motherhood, friendship, secrets, fragility, and love, and in doing so, she asks us to pay attention to everything in our lives that really matters. When I finished the book, I felt like I had made a new friend, and all I wanted was to keep our conversation going. This is more than a memoir; it’s an experience.”
Lori Gottlieb, author of Maybe You Should Talk to Someone and co-host of the “Dear Therapist” podcast.
“As a physician at teaching hospitals, I was reluctant to take my work home with me and read Elizabeth Benedict’s memoir about her encounter with cancer. But I was immediately caught up in Rewriting Illness. Her candor, self-effacing wit, storytelling, and probing of how doctors communicate are riveting. With vivid scenes and a light touch, she explores her own experience and the language we use (or avoid using), our discomfort with uncertainty, and the consequences of these choices on our patients when they’re out of our sight. Her surprisingly entertaining memoir should be required reading for every medical student, resident, and physician, prompting us to reflect on how we talk to and care for our patients – an ideal teaching tool.” Kathy G. Niknejad, MD, Faculty, Harvard Medical School
“Nuanced, thoughtful, with not a cliché in sight. Impossible to put down because the rich inner life of the writer – this excellent writer—is so compelling. The story she tells … is a reflection of encountering the unpredictable vicissitudes of life, and its one certainty.” Katherine Dalsimer, Weill Cornell Medical College; author of Virginia Woolf: Becoming a Writer and Female Adolescence: Psychoanalytic Reflections on Literature.
“I devoured Elizabeth Benedict’s beautiful book in one sitting. I’m move and astonished by how she made her cancer story universal, even for someone who is not yet, knock wood, a member of that club.” Betsy West, Documentary director: RBG, Julia, Gabby Giffords Won’t Back Down.
“Elizabeth Benedict’s book is brave,, heartening and beautiful. We avert our eyes from the deep terror that she must face; she faces it and faces it down. This book is a lesson in how to live. Brava.” Roxana Robinson, author of Sparta Dawson’s Fall, Georgia O’Keefe: A Life
“Elizabeth Benedict brings a novelist’s deft storytelling to a narrative we think we already know. It’s full of drama, humor, essential lessons for dealing with doctors, crushing vulnerability, and, wonderfully, plenty of hope.” Mara Liasson, NPR National Political Correspondent
“Witty, vivid, and harrowing . . .as though Nora Ephron had written a book called I Feel Bad About My Tumor.” Thomas Beller, author of J.. Salinger: The Escape Artist and How to Be a Man: Scenes from a Protracted Boyhood
“This is the kind of inspiring book you want to share with all the important people in your life.” Sigrid Nunez, author of What Are You Going Through and The Friend, A novel, 2018 Winner the National Book Award for Fiction
“Elizabeth Benedict’s beautiful, brave memoir about her own fears, especially fear of illness, which was eventually realized and had to be overcome, has so much to say about rational and irrational anxieties and the way they haunt women and deprive us of the larger life we crave.” Katha Pollitt, author of Learning to Drive and Other Life Stories
“Superbly intelligent and surprisingly entertaining memoir. . She writes with an honesty and a sly sense of humor about herself that make this book hard to put down.” Stephen McCauley, author of My Ex-Life
“A frank, riveting and often hilarious memoir If you’ve had cancer, or love someone who’s had or has it, or are just plain afraid. . . then you’ll want to read this book.” Claire Messud, Author of The Emperor’s Children and The Burning Girl.