Body Friend

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Body Friend

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A potent novel about chronic illness and the circular nature of recovery-shortlisted for the major Australian literary award The Stella Prize.

In the wake of a major operation, a 28-year-old woman with chronic illness has twelve weeks to heal, or rather, to acclimate to her new body and prepare herself to leave the routines, comforts, and interiority of her convalescence. In the hydrotherapy pool, she meets Frida, a young woman who looks strikingly similar to her and is also in a state of recovery. But Frida sees her chronic illness as something to overcome and her body as something to control. She adores the pool and pushes the narrator and herself toward an active life, relentlessly pursuing the prevailing narrative of illness followed by recovery.

But the narrator also happens upon Sylvia, another young, convalescing woman, resting on a bench in a nearby park, which the narrator frequents on the days she is too ill to swim. Sylvia understands her body and the narrator's in a different way, gently encouraging her to rest, to perceive illness as something happening to her, but which does not define her.

Throughout the narrator's recovery, these women shadow, overlap, mirror, and complicate one another, and what begins as two seemingly undemanding friendships is challenged by what each woman asks of the narrator, of themselves, and of their bodies.

Katherine Brabon is the award-winning author of The Memory Artist and The Shut Ins. Her writing has been supported by Art Omi New York and the UNESCO Cities of Literature International Residency. She lives and works in Naarm/Melbourne, Australia. Body Friend is her U.S. debut.

ISBN: 9781639734511

ISBN-10: 9781639734511

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

Publication Date: 07/16/2024 - 12:00am

On Sale: 07/16/2024 - 12:00am

Pages: 272

Language: English

Categories

Fiction / Disabilities & Special Needs

Fiction / Literary

Fiction / Friendship

Fiction / Women