Saturday, December 11, 2004

Brava, L.H!:

Laura Hillenbrand's New Yorker essay on her life with CFIDS, "A Sudden Illness", has been chosen for both the prestigious "Best American Essays 2004" and "Best American Magazine Writing 2004".

"A Sudden Illness" is a masterwork and I'd say that even if I didn't have CFIDS. With eloquence and a slow-burning anger, Hillenbrand lays bare the heartbreak of having one's life--particularly one's youth--upended by incurable illness.

I know someone is going to ask, "If she's so sick how did she write such a long piece?" Answer: It took her two years and she often had to write lying down and/or with her eyes closed to quell the vertigo. Being ill doesn't diminish one's talent: it makes it more difficult to access. If one has the tenacity of a rabid dog, though, great things can happen.


CFIDS Books: The Best American Essays 2004 (Best American Essays) Books: The Best American Magazine Writing 2004 (Best American Magazine Writing)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Interesting you should post that. I just finished her essay, and I agree--it is a masterful piece of writing. Even better was the fact that I've never read Seabiscuit or seen the film, so her name didn't ring a bell when I saw it in the essay collection. When she starts describing her inspiration and work on the novel after her heartbreaking struggle with CFIDS (an interesting tale in itself,) it absolutely floored me. "Someone that sick wrote this best-seller?!" I need to post her name above my computer so I never complain about writer's block ever again.