A New York Times Bestseller

Finalist for the PEN West Prize for Literary Nonfiction

American Pain Society 2015 Kathleen Foley Journalist Award

“Rarely has a single book so intelligently illuminated a universal human experience. Melding science, literature, religion, memoir, and history, Melanie Thernstrom has created a masterpiece that reveals how we seek diverse dimensions of meaning to transcend suffering.”

– Jerome Groopman, M.D., Recanati Professor at Harvard Medical School and author of The Anatomy of Hope and How Doctors Think
read more > order at Barnes & Noble > at Amazon >
Melanie recently discussed the history of pain on the podcast This Is Your Brain With Dr. Phil Stieg. more information >

“A portrait of the artist as a young woman . . . a notable model of the female Bildungsroman

– Helen Vendler, The New York Review of Books
Newly republished by Pharos Editions with an introduction by David Shields
read more >

“once again
demonstrates a
great shattering gift”

– Mikal Gilmore, author of Shot in the Heart
read more >