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Anna DeForest + Jenny Offill: A History of Present Illness

August 15, 7 pm8 pm.
$5 – $25
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Join us for an in-person event with palliative care physician Anna DeForest for the launch of her debut novel A History of Present Illness. Joining Anna DeForest in conversation is acclaimed fiction writer Jenny Offill. This event will be hosted in the Strand Book Store’s 3rd floor Rare Book Room at 828 Broadway on 12th Street.

Can’t make the event? Purchase a signed copy of A History of Present Illness here.

STRAND IN-PERSON EVENT COVID-19 POLICY:

In-person events will be presented to a fully vaccinated and maskedaudience. All patrons over the age of five will be required to show proof* of having completed the COVID-19 vaccination series at least 14 daysprior to the date of the event.

*Proof of vaccination will be defined as either an original vaccination card, Excelsior Pass or its equivalent. We will be checking to ensure compliance with the 14 day waiting period post-vaccination.

Registration will be required online. No tickets for entry will be sold at the door.

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A novel of meticulous brevity and a tone and vision all its own, transmuting the practice of medicine into a larger exploration of humanity, the meaning of care, and the nature of annihilation—physical, spiritual, or both.

A young woman puts on a white coat for her first day as a student doctor. So begins this powerful debut, which follows our unnamed narrator through cadaver dissection, surgical rotation, difficult births, sudden deaths, and a budding relationship with a seminarian.

In the troubled world of the hospital, where the language of blood tests and organ systems so often hides the heart of the matter, she works her way from one bed to another, from a man dying of substance use and tuberculosis, to a child in pain crisis, to a young woman, fading from confusion to aphasia to death. The long hours and heartrending work begin to blur the lines between her new life as a physician and the lifelong traumas she has fled.

In brilliant, wry, and biting prose, A History of Present Illness is a boldly honest meditation on the body, the hope of healing in the face of total loss, and what it means to be alive.

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