Magazine November 15, 2021, Issue

Becoming Literate in Suffering

Ross Douthat (Hoover Institute/YouTube)
The Deep Places: A Memoir of Illness and Discovery, by Ross Douthat (Convergent Books, 224 pp., $26)

The Deep Places, Ross Douthat’s tale of living with Lyme disease, reads more like a horror story than a memoir. The burning, flaring pain of his disease is a sort of possession, sending him herky-jerky dancing through his attic. But the treatments to keep his suffering in check are even more unsettling — he relies on a secreted-away, mail-order machine that pulses electricity through his body.

It’s a book that feels a little dangerous to read, like the dusty tome that the protagonist of a ghost story picks up, learning a story of suffering that begins to escape the book and

To Read the Full Story

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In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners




It’s all familiar and boring, the recasting of an American archetype into a new mold to instruct, because they can’t come up with archetypes of their own.


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