The Two Kinds of Decay, by Sarah Manguso

At 21, Sarah Manguso was stricken with a crippling autoimmune disease that would change her life forever. Manguso's descriptions of her symptoms, treatment, and memories of that time can be interesting. [Image shows the outline of a female human body with circulatory system in red.] But the writing style, with paragraphs split along seemingly random lines, is distracting and somewhat annoying. And Manguso, absorbed in herself, fails to give readers something to relate to.

Good for: People who like tales of painful adolescence, I suppose. I did not greatly enjoy this story; it didn't tell me why I should care. The only chapter I really found compelling was "The New Machine," which is two pages long and which you can read right here.

I usually try to stretch a little farther away from the cover image in my drawings, but given the subject matter this was really, really hard to illustrate in a way that wouldn't make certain people I know queasy!


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