TO TABLE OF CONTENTS
Your guide to published
Handbook of Chronic Fatigue
Edited by Leonard A. Jason, Patricia A. Fennell
and Renee R. Taylor, 2003, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., $90, 794 pp.
Written by a virtual Who’s Who of CFIDS researchers,
clinicians and patients, the Handbook touches on every aspect of the CFIDS
experience — from assessment, treatment and symptomatology to patient
perspectives. While it does not break new ground in terms of research or patient
care, the book serves as a comprehensive primer. Although it’s written with
health-care professionals in mind, astute lay readers should find the Handbook
an enlightening guide.
If You Would Just Get Out of Bed: My Life with
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
By Stephanie Kelly
2003, KK Bell LLC
This book starts with a victory — the author’s wedding day.
And it ends with hopeful words from a person who has learned to cope with the
illness that has dogged her for nearly 20 years. In between lay the personal
tales familiar to so many people with CFIDS — the daily struggles to accomplish
the smallest tasks, the insensitive comments of people unfamiliar with the toll
CFIDS exacts, the lingering doubts if life will ever improve.
Kelly’s message is realistic but upbeat. "My internal battle
is quieting, and my soul and spirit are winning more often," Kelly writes.
"…whether it is in sickness or health, I look forward to every day."
Previously published book reviews and a list of online
books are available on The CFIDS Associationof America’s Web site. Click on
Interested in writing book reviews for the Chronicle? Contact
the editor at The CFIDS Association of America, P.O. Box 220398, Charlotte, NC
28222-0398, or online at
The CFIDS Bookshelf
The list of books written by people with CFIDS (PWCs) about
their experience is growing rapidly, particularly as electronic formats and
self-publishing become easier. This is a list of a few of the best books by PWCs
published by major publishers. Not how-to-cope or informational books, these are
stories and investigations that take readers inside the CFIDS world, the
illness, the politics, the day-to-day struggles.
Floyd Skloot, In the Shadow of Memory (University of
Nebraska, 2003). Like his previous work, The Night Side: Chronic Fatigue
Syndrome and the Illness Experience, this is a collection of award-winning
essays and poems, personal, moving and humorous, giving a graphic account of how
CFIDS impacts a life.
Susan Griffin, What Her Body Thought: A Journey into the
Shadows (Harper San Francisco, 1999). Griffin confronts economic, social
and philosophical aspects of illness in a ruminative, interwoven tale of her
experience with CFIDS, her childhood memories, her journal entries, and the
story of Marie Duplessis, popularized as the fictional Camille, a 19th-century
courtesan who died of tuberculosis.
Lynn Sharon Schwartz, The Fatigue Artist (New York:
Simon and Schuster). The only novel written about CFIDS, this is a stellar book
by an acclaimed novelist that paints the CFIDS experience with humor and
Susan Wendell, The Rejected Body: Feminist Philosophical
Reflections on Disability (New York: Routledge, 1996). Written by a PWC,
this book explores how our culture defines and understands disability, the way
the authority of the medical establishment shapes the illness experience, and
how we can both embrace and transcend the body that suffers.
Dorothy Wall is co-author of Finding Your Writer’s
Voice: A Guide to Creative Fiction (St. Martin’s Press), and is completing a
collection of essays about CFIDS.