Robin Carr, a Torontonian in her mid-twenties, has serious inflammatory bowel disease, which by the end of the book has lead to twelve abdominal operations. The story begins as she anticipates further surgery to close her ostomy and create a pelvic pouch. Failure of the surgical procedure seems to bring about failure of her marriage. She is reminded of her father's own experience with an ostomy and his death of bowel cancer, as she establishes new relationships and grapples with her mortality and the possibility that she may never be able to have children.


A moving account of a young woman's torment over her illness and the effect the disfiguration of her body has on her relationships with her caregivers, family, friends, and sexual partners. The author herself has endured twelve operations, and she describes ileostomy with a degree of intimacy that blurs the boundaries between autobiography and fiction. Her vivid portraits of a surgeon (whom she calls "The Prophet"), a psychiatrist (called "the Wizard"), and hospital nurses, are sometimes tinged with anger, but always credible. A visit to the real Toronto abortion clinic of the real Dr. Henry Morgentaler is told with clinical precision and without pseudonyms.


Women's Press

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