Canongate signs 'remarkably courageous' memoir on illness

Canongate signs 'remarkably courageous' memoir on illness

Canongate is to publish a "remarkably courageous and highly topical" memoir by Porochista Khakpour entitled Sick.

Francis Bickmore, Canongate editorial director, acquired UK and Commonwealth (excluding Canadian) rights to the title from Caspian Dennis at Abner Stein, on behalf of Seth Fishman at the Gernert Company.

On the back of the "phenomenal tide of media attention" generated by the US publication on 5th June, Canongate will release the UK edition as a £9.99 paperback original in August 2018.

In the tradition of Brains on Fire, The Outrun and Darkness Visible, Sick is a "candid, illuminating narrative of hope and uncertainty, boldly examining the deep impact of illness on one woman’s life", said the publisher.

For as long as Khakpour can remember, she has been sick. For most of that time, she didn’t know why. All of her trips to the Emergency Room and her daily anguish, pain, and lethargy only ever resulted in one question: How could any one person by this sick? Several drug addictions, three major hospitalisations, and over $100,000 later, she finally had a diagnosis: late-stage Lyme disease.

A "harrowing" memoir of chronic illness, misdiagnosis, and the myth of full recovery that details Khakpour’s struggles with late-stage Lyme disease, Sick is Khakpour’s arduous, emotional journey – as a woman, a writer, and a lifelong sufferer of undiagnosed health problems – through the chronic illness that perpetually left her a victim of anxiety, living a life stymied by an unknown condition.

Bickmore said: "Sick is a remarkably courageous and highly topical memoir about health and identity. It frankly investigates the author’s own experience of living for years with chronic pain, an illness which was only latterly diagnosed as Lyme Disease. As Sontag and Woolf did before her, Porochista Khakpour is broadening our frame of reference when it comes to thinking about wellness and identity. Born in Tehran, Khakpour moved to live in America, and in the book she explores what it means to feel at home in one’s body and also one’s country. And what it means not to.”