Join us for a reading, conversation, and book-signing with Porochista Khakpour for her new memoir, SICK. For this event, Porochista will be in conversation with Megan Stielstra.
For as long as author Porochista Khakpour can remember, she has been sick. For most of that time, she didn't know why. Several drug addictions, some major hospitalizations, and over $100,000 later, she finally had a diagnosis: late-stage Lyme disease.
SICK is Khakpour's grueling, emotional journey—as a woman, an Iranian-American, a writer, and a lifelong sufferer of undiagnosed health problems—in which she examines her subsequent struggles with mental illness and her addiction to doctor prescribed benzodiazepines, that both aided and eroded her ever-deteriorating physical health. Divided by settings, Khakpour guides the reader through her illness by way of the locations that changed her course—New York, LA, Santa Fe, and a college town in Germany—as she meditates on the physiological and psychological impacts of uncertainty, and the eventual challenge of accepting the diagnosis she had searched for over the course of her adult life.
A story of survival, pain, and transformation, Sick candidly examines the colossal impact of illness on one woman's life by not just highlighting the failures of a broken medical system but by also boldly challenging our concept of illness narratives.
Porochista Khakpour is author of Sons and Other Flammable Objects and The Last Illusion. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming in Harper’s, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Daily Beast, The Village Voice, The Chicago Reader, Bookforum, Al Jazeera America, Vice, GQ, The Paris Review Daily, Elle, Spin, Slate, Salon, Poets & Writers, Guernica, Departures, Paper, Flaunt, Nylon, Bidoun, Alef, Canteen, and many more. In 2019, Vintage will publish her first collection of essays, Brown Album; in 2020, the Pantheon will publish her third novel Tehrangeles. She currently lives in New York City and Los Angeles.
Megan Stielstra is the author of three collections: The Wrong Way To Save Your Life, Once I Was Cool, and Everyone Remain Calm. Her work appears in the Best American Essays, New York Times, Poets & Writers, Longreads, Tin House, Guernica, Catapult, Lit Hub, Buzzfeed Reader, The Rumpus, and elsewhere. A longtime company member with 2nd Story, she has told stories for National Public Radio, Radio National Australia, Museum of Contemporary Art, Goodman Theatre, the Neo-Futurarium, and regularly with The Paper Machete live news magazine at The Green Mill. She is currently an artist in residence at Northwestern University. She lives in Chicago with her husband, her kid, and two dogs.