By turns defiant and vulnerable, Eva Hagberg Fisher’s memoir chronicles the heartbreak and revelations of living with an illness that robbed her of her body, but conversely jolted her back to life. With extraordinary insight and humor, she reflects on the chaos of her unraveling, the courage and daring it took her to persist, and on the loving friends who held her along the way.
Throughout her life, Eva had always felt strangely disconnected from the world. At Princeton and in her early twenties, navigating relationships became an exchange of sex and power—a study of who she could sleep with, get drunk with, and who could help her get ahead. And in New York, her meteoric ascent as a young writer crashed and burned when her quiet struggle with addiction came to a spectacular head. Instead of reaching out for help, Eva disappeared into herself.
At age 30, she leaves the city, desperate to fashion a new identity. But just as soon as Eva finds a foothold, an undiscovered mass in her brain ruptures, and her sense of self is obliterated as she enters a into lifelong battle with her body. For the first time in her life, she has no other option but to turn to her friends. To her surprise, they show up in numbers, unfazed by her past and ready to carry her through her darkest moments. Readers will find Hagberg Fisher’s raw interrogation of love, grief, and our human need for connection to be both jarring and immediately recognizable. Her tour through chronic illness and our culture’s complicated narrative of recovery will surely spark lively conversations about how we live and why the intimate bonds we form are vital to our existence.
Rakesh Satyal is a Senior Editor at Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster. He is the author of the novels Blue Boy and No One Can Pronounce My Name. He has sat on the advisory panel for the annual PEN World Voices Festival, currently sits on the board of Lambda Literary, and hosts the bi-monthly LitProv! show at SymphonySpace. He lives in Brooklyn.
Eva Hagberg Fisher’s writing has appeared in the New York Times, T: The New York Times Style Magazine, Tin House, Wallpaper*, Wired, Guernica, and Dwell, among other places. She lives in New York City.