Perillo's essays offer a lively, variegated view from the wheelchair of a woman with multiple sclerosis who is also a naturalist, an outdoorswoman, a wife, and an award-winning writer.  Not all of them focus on her condition, though observations about living with the disease occur in most, and are thematic to some.  Most are also laced with wry humor.  One comes to see in these sketches from the Pacific Northwest how full and rich a life it is possible to live while also fully acknowledging and even lamenting the loss of mobility.  She invokes Thoreau several times, and her work may be easily situated in his tradition of personal, reflective essays on the natural world.  For her, the natural world extends to the world of the body, linked as it is with the bodies of all living things.



The quality of self-reflection, the literary agility, honest humor, honest sorrow, and intelligent resilience that characterize these essays make them an enjoyable read, whatever the reader's purposes.  For those living with MS, or for their caregivers or friends, they offer helpful insight into the range of frustrations, coping mechanisms that develop as one learns to live with the body's betrayals.  


Trinity University Press

Place Published

San Antonio



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