Upon becoming a new mother, Eula Biss addresses a chronic condition of fear - fear of the government, the medical establishment, and what is in your child's air, food, mattress, medicine, and vaccines. She finds that you cannot immunize your child, or yourself, from the world.
In this bold, fascinating book, Biss investigates the metaphors and myths surrounding our conception of immunity and its implications for the individual and the social body. As she hears more and more fears about vaccines, Biss researches what they mean for her own child, her immediate community, America, and the world, both historically and in the present moment. She extends a conversation with other mothers to meditations on Voltaire's Candide, Bram Stoker's Dracula, Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, Susan Sontag's AIDS and Its Metaphors, and beyond. On Immunity is a moving account of how we are all interconnected - our bodies and our fates.
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More than I Expected
I did actually listen to most of it twice, in 24 hours. It's a very-well woven story and it's easy to forget it's non-fiction and in what one might think would be a "heavy" genre. I did learn a lot and will forever think of vaccines differently. Much more than a personal choice.
She fits the writing and narrates with that flow that makes one forget it's not the author telling her tale.
This book reads a lot like a journal, a bit like mythology, a bit like philosophy... and it is a fresh take on a topic not often covered. It is never over-the-top on density. It is easy to understand without any "talking down" to the reader. Much more than I expected for what possibly does not sound like a fascinating topic. Excellent writing. Impressive detail attention to providing sources. Clearly well-researched yet presented in a captivating "story" style.
Amazing survey of attitudes
- Rosemary A Cook