“Poetry is the way we help give name to the nameless so it can be thought. The farthest external horizons of our hopes and fears are cobbled by our poems, carved from the rock experiences of our daily lives.” —Audre Lorde, “Poetry Is Not a Luxury”

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The Book Everyone Is Buying Now


The Book 

Pain, though a universal element of human experience, is dimly understood and sometimes barely managed. Pain Woman Takes Your Keys and Other Essays from a Nervous System is a collection of literary and experimental essays about living with chronic pain. Sonya Huber moves away from a linear narrative to step through the doorway into pain itself, into that strange, unbounded reality.

The Author

Sonya Huber is the author of Opa Nobody (Nebraska, 2008), Cover Me: A Health Insurance Memoir (Nebraska, 2010), and The Evolution of Hillary Rodham Clinton. She is an associate professor at Fairfield Her essay, “The Shadow Syllabus,” went viral. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Creative Nonfiction, Brevity, Fourth Genre, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and the Washington Post Magazine.


“Huber uses pain as a lens through which she examines disability, gender bias, motherhood, and the very basic condition of living in a body….The lyricism and poetry-prose hybrid continues throughout the book, interspersed with narrative reported pieces, humorous anecdotes, and sharp social commentary. [An] honest, wise, and droll book.”— Gila Lyons, Bitch Media

“Those with depression, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, or myriad other types of pain from diseases and conditions—even romantic breakups or family deaths—will find it relatable.”—Nichole Reber, Ploughshares Blog


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