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At the Will of the Body


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About the Author

Arthur W. Frank received the Natalie Davis Spingarn Writer's Award from the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship in 1996. He teaches at the University of Calgary.


Within two years, Frank experienced life-threatening illness twice: a heart attack at age 39 and cancer at 40. These crises motivated him to write ``a letter to his younger self'' before he was made wiser by the experience of disease. Instead of focusing on medical details, he attempts to describe the human experience in an effort to make sense of serious illness. Writing that ``illness teaches the danger as well as the value of the everyday,'' Frank emphasizes the value of life and a return to the sense of wonder at being alive. What he has to say about caregiving complements Norman Cousins's holistic health and vis medicatrix naturae philosophy presented in his Anatomy of an Illness as Perceived by the Patient ( LJ 9/1/79).-- James Swanton, Albert Einstein Coll. of Medicine, New York

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