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A matter of appearance : a memoir  Cover Image Book Book

A matter of appearance : a memoir / Emily Wells.


"Emily Wells, a former ballerina, spent her childhood dancing through intense, whole-body pain she assumed was normal for someone used to pushing her body to its limits. For years, no doctor could tell Wells what was wrong with her, or they told her it was "all in her head." It was only in college that she learned the name for the illness she had been suffering from all her life: Behcet's Disease, a rare congenital disorder causing blood vessel inflammation throughout the body, arthritis, and swelling of the brain. In A Matter of Appearance, Wells, who now teaches creative writing at UC Irvine, traces her journey as she tries to understand and define this specific and personal pain, internally and externally. She draws on the critical works of Freud, Sontag, and others to explore the intersection between gender, pain, and language, tracing a line from the "hysteria patients" documented at the Salpêtrière Hospital in nineteenth-century Paris through to the contemporary New Age healers of Los Angeles and beyond. At the crux of this is the dilemma of how to express in words an experience that is both private and public, subjective, and quantifiable. A work of crystalline beauty and razorlike insight, A Matter of Appearance introduces a much needed millennial voice to the literature of illness"-- Provided by publisher.

Record details

  • ISBN: 9781644212769
  • ISBN: 1644212765
  • Physical Description: 191 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
  • Publisher: New York, NY : Seven Stories Press, [2023]

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references (pages 183-191).
Subject: Wells, Emily (Journalist) > Health.
Behçet's disease > Patients > United States > Biography.
Ballerinas > United States > Biography.
Chronic pain in women > United States.
Discrimination in medical care > United States.
Syndrome de Behçet > Patients > États-Unis > Biographies.
Douleur chronique chez la femme > États-Unis.
Discrimination dans les soins médicaux > États-Unis.
Chronic pain in women.
Discrimination in medical care.
United States.
Genre: Biographies.

Available copies

  • 1 of 1 copy available at Homer Library. (Show)
  • 1 of 1 copy available at Homer Library System. (Show)
  • 1 of 1 copy available at Homer Public Library.


  • 0 current holds with 1 total copy.
Show Only Available Copies
Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Homer Public Library B WELLS (Text) 000172597 New Books Available -

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