Monday, March 07, 2005

Paula Kamen, guest hosting over at Cupcake, wrote an interesting post about what she names Sick Lit. She writes

"Sick lit," as I've termed it, is women fighting shame and isolation through telling their stories about "invisible" illness. Sometimes in a literary way, sometimes through memoir, sometimes with reporting added (like yours truly).

and later says

I see this genre as relevant to recognize and validate a greater Third Wave (postboomer feminism) phenomenon, something you wouldn't have seen even 20 years ago, of women "coming out" out about illness. They see it as a fact of life, as part of the diversity of humans -- and less about something that reveals a deviant "moral weakness" of theirs. And we need this type of openness to relieve the isolation of individual women, and then help everyone else see their stake in this issue, to organize for better treatment and research.

Recent Sick Lit books that have found their way under my skin include Sickened by Julie Gregory and Devil in the Details by Jennifer Traig. If my Sick Girl project ever finds its way into the world, it will definitely be part of this genre (and I only hope I can be as honest and funny and moving as these women have been.)

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