Pain Studies (Paperback)

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Olstein writes with eloquence and power. While pain is highly individual, I found echoes of my own chronic pains within her words - all described with a fierce simplicity that I have never been able to achieve. To someone living with chronic pain, this book is pure catharsis, a warm voice in an endless tunnel of dark saying "I hear you. I understand you." To anyone else, this book is the first step toward empathy. PAIN STUDIES must be read by all.

— From Laura G Recommends

Description


"A fascinating, totally seductive read " --Eula Biss, author of Notes from No Man's Land: American Essays and On Immunity: An Inoculation

"A book built of brain and nerve and blood and heart. . . . Irreverent and astute. . . . Pain Studies will change how you think about living with a body." --Elizabeth McCracken, author of Thunderstruck and Bowlaway

"A thrilling investigation into pain, language, and Olstein's own exile from what Woolf called 'the army of the upright.' On a search path through art, science, poetry, and prime-time television, Olstein aims her knife-bright compassion at the very thing we're all running from. Pain Studies is a masterpiece." --Leni Zumas, author of The Listeners and Red Clocks

In this extended lyric essay, a poet mines her lifelong experience with migraine to deliver a marvelously idiosyncratic cultural history of pain--how we experience, express, treat, and mistreat it. Her sources range from the trial of Joan of Arc to the essays of Virginia Woolf and Elaine Scarry to Hugh Laurie's portrayal of Gregory House on House M.D. As she engages with science, philosophy, visual art, rock lyrics, and field notes from her own medical adventures (both mainstream and alternative), she finds a way to express the often-indescribable experience of living with pain. Eschewing simple epiphanies, Olstein instead gives us a new language to contemplate and empathize with a fundamental aspect of the human condition.

Lisa Olstein teaches at the University of Texas at Austin and is the author of four poetry collections published by Copper Canyon Press. Pain Studies is her first book of creative nonfiction.

About the Author


Lisa Olstein is the author of four poetry collections published by Copper Canyon Press: Radio Crackling, Radio Gone, winner of the Hayden Carruth Award; Lost Alphabet, a Library Journal "Best Book of the Year" selection; Little Stranger, a Lannan Literary Selection; and Late Empire. She is a member of the poetry faculty at the University of Texas at Austin where she teaches in the New Writers Project and Michener Center for Writers MFA programs. Olstein also serves as an associate editor for Tupelo Quarterly. Pain Studies is her first book of creative nonfiction.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781942658689
ISBN-10: 1942658680
Publisher: Bellevue Literary Press
Publication Date: March 4th, 2020
Pages: 192
Language: English