Transformation: stories of breakdown and healing

[Originally posted at Robbins Library Blog]


Many of us, at some point in our lives, face situations that threaten to dismantle our selves, our worlds, our whole way of being. Such battles with confusion, pain and fear can produce changes in our lives we might never have imagined. For our July display on the theme of transformation, we partnered with the local Writers’ Group for Cancer Survivors and Caregivers to gather a diverse group of books about personal journeys of breakdown, growth and healing.

The Writers’ Group for Cancer Survivors and Caregivers offers a safe space for discussion, writing and healing. Please visit their website for founder Angelika Festa’s Arts and Healing Bibliography, a detailed list of books and other resources, or review a paper copy at the display table. Resources in our display include many on cancer and also a wide variety of stories about other personal struggles that leave their protagonists deeply transformed in unexpected ways:

Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness – Susannah Callahan’s shocking memoir about her mysterious episode of debilitating encephalitis.

Blue Pills – a memoir in graphic novel form by Frederick Peeters about falling in love with an HIV-positive woman.

The Answer to the Riddle is Me – David McLean struggles to piece himself back together after waking up with no memory of his life.

Lighter than my shadow – Katie Green’s brave graphic novel memoir on her struggle with a anorexia.

Check out the display, and offer your recommendations for books on transformation in the comments!


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