- Paperback: 344 pages
- Publisher: Goose Lane Editions (Sept. 21 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0864926766
- ISBN-13: 978-0864926760
- Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 2.1 x 20.3 cm
- Shipping Weight: 408 g
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #137,101 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
My Leaky Body: Tales from the Gurney Paperback – Sep 21 2012
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"Part memoir, part manifesto, Julie Devaney's profoundly honest new book should be required reading for anyone who may ever have to visit a hospital — which mean, in effect, everyone. ... moving and genuinely inspirational." (Shawn Syms Quill & Quire 2012-09-04)
"She has written a rare, profoundly honest and comforting book recommended for anyone enduring the demoralizing maze that is the health care system. ... we understand the rage induced by a consistent lack of empathy, and struggle in solidarity as she attempts to reclaim her body and her life. ... In giving us her rage, humour and fallibility, Devaney has perfectly highlighted our cultural fear of frankly discussing the reality of illness. She knows that we often live in a state of paranoia, attempting to hide from the inevitability of our own decay. We should be grateful she has done us the service of delivering every ugly detail of what she has endured, opening up a comforting conversation, giving her harrowing experience meaning, and utilizing it to empower others." (Stacey May Fowles National Post 2012-11-08)
"A complicated story told in a compelling way. ... with aching prose and wry humour, she shares the intimacies of her life and offers a glimpse into her rage and determination. ... It is a must-read for each of us who thinks there are definite answers to medical problems. It is a must-read for those who think that chronic illness must surely get easier to bear. And, yes, it is a must-read for medical professionals. ... There are exquisite pieces of wisdom in this book." (Adelia Neufeld Wiens Winnipeg Free Press 2012-12-18)
"My Leaky Body... lays bare the deficiencies in health care, creating somewhat of a road map for others who want to/must transform the system. This is a brave, daring, tell-all book filled with raw courage." (Owen Sound Sun Times 2013-01-21)
"Devaney's vision is of a world where health care is fully funded, and where med students are taught good manners, where sick people are comforted, not warehoused. ... This dream should not only come true in theatres and books — but all across Canada." (Catholic Register 2013-01-21)
"If literature is the artist vulnerable, then writer Julie Devaney has created art out of the unlikeliest of mediums: ulcerative colitis. ... This is a unique work, utterly original; raw, authentic and hungry." (Amy Andersen Scene 2013-05-03)
"My Leaky Body is self-aware without being self-pitying. It is empowering without being condescending and it is a strong, new young woman's voice in Canadian non-fiction. This book will resonate whether you're reading it on a stretcher in the closet of a hospital too full to house you, or curled up in bed or in a café." (Tara-Michelle Ziniuk Herizons 2013-09-11)
"This book is one that anyone treating chronic disease should read, as a patient viewpoint reminder and a frank, honest, angry, and often funny demonstration of how our policies, actions, and discussions aren't always received by patients in the way we hope. It is extremely well written in a candid and un-self-conscious style, but I was most impressed by what Julie Devaney has herself taken on in her real life. She has used her story and her experiences in courageous and innovative performances to improve the lot of other patients to come." (Cynthia Verchere BC Medical Journal 2013-12-18)
"My Leaky Body is many things at once: it is a critical investigation of healthcare culture, an activist's handbook, a real-life horror story, and a provoking confessional memoir." (Aimee Ouellette subTerrain 2013-12-18)
"Powerful, moving, enlightening, and funny, My Leaky Body should be required reading for med students and all health care professionals and for anyone who has had to navigate the health care system." (Robin Duke 2016-10-01)
"Brave, honest, touching, and truly hilarious, My Leaky Body can help unite medical professionals and patients to make health care the best it can be." (Diane Flacks Toronto Star 2016-10-01)
"My Leaky Body is amazing and cutting edge. Julie is courageous to engage in this type of work which is testing the boundaries of traditional scientific approaches to health care research. Julie's performance work is vulnerable, touching, deep and real. It is reflective of how our current health care system can at times be. I think it is a unique approach and creates a gut impact. If you are a practitioner, policy maker or a patient, you must see her performance." (J. Lapum 2016-10-01)
"With television filled with fictional shows about life as a doctor — from ER to Grey's Anatomy — it is refreshing and insightful to see a performance about the reality of life as a patient. This intimate account blends anger and humour to reclaim the role as subject, not object. For those who think we have already achieved patient-centered care, this is a wake-up call." (Jesse McLaren 2016-10-01)
"Activist Julie Devaney uses her own experiences with colitis to criticize the health care system and the insensitivity of medical professionals as she's dragged through what she dubs 'hospital purgatory.' The conversational material rings scarily true and blends ironic humour with chilling realities. Moments of fantasy — she's visited by health care saint Tommy Douglas and opens her heart to Shania Twain — mix with concerns about having sex and the trials she suffers at the hands of caregivers and insurance companies. There is no question that Devaney is brave not only to tell her story but also to put herself onstage." (Jon Kaplan NOW Magazine 2016-10-01)
"Julie Devaney's startling tale of illness and resistance is gripping, angry, sharply funny, and eye-opening. She tells what it's like to be a leaky body, to live with a debilitating embodied condition that has consequences not just in her health care but in all her personal and social relationships. Julie is by turns filled with 'terror, pain and disgust,' expected to feel guilt and shame, and yet always sustained by an extraordinarily productive anger. Her condition opens up a commitment to health care advocacy that culminates in her exciting workshop performances in My Leaky Body. It's a revelation to get an insight into her lived experience that is sure to find resonances in all of us." (Margrit Shildrick 2016-10-01)
"Devaney's writing talent turns emergency-room neglect into poetry... She is one of the few individuals brave enough to complain without blaming. Her courage is raw." (Heather Mallick 2016-10-01)
"I've often thought the only way people like me can really know what it's like to be a patient is to become one. Or take lessons from Toronto writer Julie Devaney who spent five years in and out of hospital." (Dr. Brian Goldman White Coat, Black Art CBC Radio 2016-10-01)
From the Inside Flap
Her most vulnerable moment spawned a battle for change. In and out of emergency rooms, Julie Devaney is poked and prodded, bearing the helplessness and chilling indignities of "hospital purgatory."
Part memoir, part love story, part revolutionary manifesto, this raw, harrowing, often gruesomely funny tale recounts Devaney's journey through hospitals and doctors' offices. Based on her popular one-woman show, My Leaky Body lays bare the deficiencies in health care, creating a road map for patients and for all those who want to transform the system.See all Product description
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Top customer reviews
We often assume (or fool ourselves to believe) that the medical system is a well-oiled and properly-functioning machine, but what people often don't realize is that the system and its workers are subject to the same cultural factors that are present in all other social spaces/work environments. These include stereotypes, assumptions, emotions, desires, rejections, attractions, and egos/personalities.
Julie's book does a tremendous job at highlighting many of these factors in her detailed, interactive accounts of her medical visits, and we get a glimpse at precisely how different (and, more specifically: how traumatic, painful, and utterly dehumanizing) these visits can be.
As a person with IBS who has had to undergo many many colonoscopies: I give this five thumbs up!