On Being Ill - Virginia Woolf, Audre Lorde et al.

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The subtle complexities of Virginia Woolf’s essay ‘On Being Ill’ will no doubt continue to be resonant for a new generation of readers today. Certainly for both Woolf and Plath, the politics of illness are never far away. “Illness”, Woolf writes, “makes us disinclined for the long campaigns that prose extracts”. On Being Ill is a valuable book for everybody who wants to connect with illness through art and literature, and look at it from a different perspective. With the poignant contributions of excellent contemporary writers, and the introduction to Audre Lorde’s cancer journals, which ends this anthology, this book does both. Woolf asks herself in her essay if illness should not receive more attention in literature, taking its place alongside the recurring themes of “love, battle and jealousy”. This book, On Being Ill, does exactly that.