MLA Platinum Award Press Release

Excerpt from Sick by Porochista Khakpour, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Sick

A Memoir

by Porochista Khakpour

Sick by Porochista Khakpour X
Sick by Porochista Khakpour
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Jun 2018, 272 pages
    Paperback:
    Jun 2018, 272 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Rebecca Foster
Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

ON THE WRONG BODY

I have never been comfortable in my own body. Rather, I've felt my whole life that I was born in the wrong body. A slight woman, femme in appearance, olive skin that has varied from dark to light, thick black curly hair, large eyes, hands and feet too big, of somewhat more than average height and somewhat less than average weight—I've tried my whole life to understand what it is that seems off to me. It's deeper than gender and sexuality, more complicated than just surface appearances. Sometimes the dysmorphia I experience in my body feels purely psychological and other times it feels like something weirder. As a child, I thought of myself as a ghost, an essence at best who'd entered some incorrect form. As I grew older, I accepted it as "otherness," a feature of Americanness even. But every room I walk into I still quickly assign myself to outsider status, though it seems not everyone can see this. Many have in fact called my looks conventional, normal, even "good." I've accepted it while also feeling like I've deceived them.

I've looked for answers from my first few years on this earth, early PTSD upon PTSD, marked by revolution and then war and then refugee years, a person without a home. Could that have caused it? Was displacement of the body literally causing a feeling of displacement in the body?

Only decades later did I confront something that may have been there the whole time: illness, or some failure of the physical body due to something outside of me, that I did not create, that my parents did not create. Illness taught me that something was wrong, more wrong than being born or living in the wrong place. My body never felt at ease; it was perhaps battling something before I knew it was. It was trying to get me out of something I could not imagine.

At some point, with chronic illness and disability, I grew to feel at home. My body was wrong, and through data, we could prove that.

Because my illness at this stage has no cure, I can forever own this discomfort of the body. I can always say this was all a mistake. To find a home in my body is to tell a story that doesn't exist. I am a foreigner, but in ways that go much deeper than I thought, under the epidermis and into the blood cells. I have started to consider that I will never be at home, perhaps not even in death.

  • 1

From the book:Sick by Porochista Khakpour. Copyright © 2018 by Porochista Khakpour. Reprinted courtesy of Harper Perennial, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for a year or $39 for 3 months
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  Chronic Lyme Disease

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Join Now!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Lightness of Hands
    The Lightness of Hands
    by Jeff Garvin
    The stillness that comes right after reading a book that has wrapped itself firmly around your heart...
  • Book Jacket: The Vanishing Half
    The Vanishing Half
    by Brit Bennett
    Brit Bennett's second novel, The Vanishing Half (after The Mothers, her 2016 bestselling debut), ...
  • Book Jacket
    Tropic of Violence
    by Nathacha Appanah
    Marie is a nurse working in Mayotte, a cluster of French territory islands in the Indian Ocean. When...
  • Book Jacket: Death in Mud Lick
    Death in Mud Lick
    by Eric Eyre
    When Eric Eyre, investigative and statehouse reporter for the Charleston Gazette-Daily, began ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Prisoner's Wife
    by Maggie Brookes

    Inspired by the true story of a courageous young woman who enters a Nazi POW camp to be with the man she loves.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
The Last Flight
by Julie Clark

The story of two women and one agonizing decision that will change the trajectory of both of their lives.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win The House on Fripp Island

The House on Fripp Island
by Rebecca Kauffman

A taut, page-turning novel of secrets and strife.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

M's T W!

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.