Bodies of Truth


Bodies of Truth

Personal Narratives on Illness, Disability, and Medicine

Edited by Dinty W. Moore, Erin Murphy, and Renée K. Nicholson
Foreword by Jacek L. Mostwin

210 pages
1 illustration


January 2019


$19.95 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

January 2019


$19.95 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

January 2019


$19.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

2019 Foreword INDIES Award, Gold for Anthologies

“Medicine still contains an oral tradition, passed down in stories: the stories patients tell us, the ones we tell them, and the ones we tell ourselves,” writes contributor Madaline Harrison. Bodies of Truth continues this tradition through a variety of narrative approaches by writers representing all facets of health care. And, since all of us have been or will be touched by illness or disability—our own or that of a loved one—at some point in our lives, any reader of this anthology can relate to the challenges, frustrations, and pain—both physical and emotional—that the contributors have experienced.

Bodies of Truth offers perspectives on a wide array of issues, from food allergies, cancer, and neurology to mental health, autoimmune disorders, and therapeutic music. These experiences are recounted by patients, nurses, doctors, parents, children, caregivers, and others who attempt to articulate the intangible human and emotional factors that surround life when it intersects with the medical field.

Author Bio

Dinty W. Moore is a professor and director of creative writing at Ohio University. He is the author of numerous books, including Crafting the Personal Essay: A Guide for Writing and Publishing Creative Nonfiction. Erin Murphy is a professor of English and creative writing at Pennsylvania State University, Altoona College. She is the author of seven collections of poetry and coeditor of Creating Nonfiction: Twenty Essays and Interviews with the Writers. Renée K. Nicholson is an assistant professor in the programs for multi- and interdisciplinary studies at West Virginia University.Jacek L. Mostwin is a professor of urology and the director of the Division of Neurological and Reconstructive Urology at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, where he also serves as faculty affiliate of the Berman Institute of Bioethics.


"Those seeking a fuller picture of what it's like living with disease or disability, as well as educators looking for teachable essays for a medical humanities class or writing group, will find this work outstanding."—Aaron Klink, Library Journal

Bodies of Truth takes us to a world of miraculous drugs and drug addictions, of doctors who wonder how to shake hands with the prisoners they treat and nurses who come to confession because death has worked its way into their souls. Above all, it’s truth: that our bodies, and the bodies of those we love and care for, so often take us to places we never knew existed, to find strengths we never knew we had. If illness and death are lonesome roads we must at some point travel, I can’t think of a more fitting companion than this volume. The writers here come as strangers to us, but they bring us gifts—their stories—that connect us whether in pain or compassion.”—Paul Shepherd, editor of Hospital Drive and author of More Like Not Running Away

“I read Bodies of Truth almost in one sitting, so compelling are the stories. To read this many of them—different illnesses and disabilities, and from different perspectives—is strangely heartening. This is all of us, represented here, wounded in one way or another or looking after the wounded. If we can say how it is, and be listened to, surely the exposure will heal a lot of festering. I am glad to have this beautifully orchestrated, passionately written collection.”—Fleda Brown, author of My Wobbly Bicycle: Meditations on Cancer and the Creative Life

Bodies of Truth offers personal accounts of individuals caught up in the lived experience of illness. . . . They are not necessarily asking us to judge, to change the world, or even to react. They merely ask, as did Coleridge’s ancient mariner, that we pause to hear the tale, setting aside for a moment the tasks at hand.”—Jacek L. Mostwin, professor of urology and the director of the Division of Neurological and Reconstructive Urology at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and faculty affiliate of the Berman Institute of Bioethics

Table of Contents

Foreword by Jacek L. Mostwin

Two Hearts
Brian Doyle

Deborah Burghardt

A Measure of Acceptance
Floyd Skloot

One Little Mind, Our Lie, Dr. Lie
Matthew S. Smith

Locked into Life
Mark Brazaitis

Rendered Mute
Teresa Blankmeyer Burke

Jamie’s Place
Michael Bérubé

A Day in the Grammar of Disease
Sonya Huber

William Bradley

750 Words about Cancer
Rebecca Housel

The Power of a Handshake
Hugh Silk

Tenley Lozano

Where Do You Go from Alston Street?
Kat Moore

Diane Kraynak

This Moment
Adriana Páramo

Sit Still and Uncover Your Eyes
Elizabeth Brady

Meredith Davies Hadaway

The Way of the Spring
Patrick Donnelly

Type One
Riley Passmore

The Bad Patient
Sandra Beasley

A Tribute to the Pharmacist
Taison Bell

Flying into Jerusalem
Katherine Macfarlane

Reluctant Reliance
Erin M. Kelly

An Interview with My Mom
Belinda Waller-Peterson

Days of the Giants
Madaline Harrison

Source Acknowledgments
List of Contributors


2019 Foreword INDIES Award, Gold for Anthologies

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