Here's a pain medication you can't get at the pharmacy. Biro, an M.D. with a Ph.D. in literature from Oxford, asserts that language itself can alleviate pain—particularly its daunting power to isolate and silence. Illness and especially pain give rise to a wall that separates a person from the world, because pain literally leaves us speechless, Biro finds. What sufferers must do, he asserts, is find the words and images to describe what nobody else feels in exactly the same way. We need to think like Joyce and Tolstoy, Biro declares, and search for metaphors that are universal. His thoughtful, lyrical challenge is, in essence, a study guide to some of the last century's most powerful writers, their metaphors of pain and suffering parsed and pondered. Biro even turns to evocative artist Frida Kahlo to illustrate the look of pain (portraying herself as a wounded deer, for example). And here's why we should pay attention to Biro's difficult, complicated lesson: as long as the conversation lasts, we are not alone. (Jan.)
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At the outset of what looked like a rewarding career as a dermatologist, Biro became incapacitated by a devastatingly painful illness. In a matter of months, he went from an articulate physician with a PhD in literature from Oxford to being muted by pain. It wasn’t that he couldn’t speak. He could utter words, but they fell flat when he strove to convey to his wife, family, and physicians the degree to which he was suffering. Trying to understand, they heard him, but his words floundered. In his second book since recovery, he regards pain as a landscape accessible to only one person at a time. Yet giving a voice to pain can be therapeutic. Rather than relying on medical experts, Biro turns to those he views as premier standard-bearers of expression and arbiters of personal feelings, the lions of literature, from Joyce to Didion, from Tolstoy to Plath. With their aid, he explains how those in pain may use metaphor to heal suffering and loneliness when merely descriptive language falls short. --Donna Chavez --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Editorial Reviews
Felt it was a good book for someone who is experiencing pain. Not so much for someone who is wanting to learn to counsel people in pain which is what I originally thought it was... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Helen B. Costa
Empathetic perspective, with good scientific respect for what we do and don't know about the experience of chronic pain. Read morePublished on September 7, 2012 by Dr. Brenda
This book is not worth the paper it is written on. Contains no substance and is simply a marketing tool for a doctors business.Published on March 15, 2012 by CTJ