• The Undying

  • A Meditation on Modern Illness
  • By: Anne Boyer
  • Narrated by: Amy Finegan
  • Length: 5 hrs and 4 mins
  • 3.0 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin. 

A week after her 41st birthday, Anne Boyer was diagnosed with highly aggressive triple-negative breast cancer. For a single mother living payslip to payslip who had always been the caregiver rather than the one needing care, the catastrophic condition was both a crisis and an initiation into new ideas about mortality and the gendered politics of illness. 

A 21st-century illness as metaphor, as well as a harrowing memoir of survival, The Undying explores the experience of illness as mediated by digital screens, weaving in ancient Roman dream diarists, cancer hoaxers and fetishists, cancer vloggers, corporate lies, John Donne, pro-pain 'dolorists', the ecological costs of chemotherapy, and the many little murders of capitalism. It excoriates the pharmaceutical industry and the bland hypocrisies of 'pink ribbon culture' while also diving into the long literary line of women writing about their own illnesses and ongoing deaths: Audre Lorde, Kathy Acker, Susan Sontag and others. 

Genre-bending, angry, profoundly humane and deeply affecting, The Undying is an unmissably original book of heart, intellect and fierce insight into the sicknesses and, occasionally, the perverse glories of our contemporary world.

©2019 Anne Boyer (P)2019 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about The Undying

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  • L Wright
  • 09-18-20

Irritating Narration

Brilliant book, but personally I found it an unpleasant listening experience. To me the narration is too much like a computer generated voice, and I found the way she stresses words to be odd / uncomfortable.

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  • Ann O'Donoghue
  • 01-19-21

life affirming in its contradictions

as above
life affirming I its contradictions and observations
validates strong women who have journeyed through female cancers and other illness

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  • Paname toujours
  • 03-30-20

breathtaking poetic prose

The insight, the analysis, the observations, the minutiae, it's all just absolutely stunning. Boyer's intelligence fills every line of prose. it is magisterial. I'm in awe. incredible portrait of a writer/poet/artist writing about surviving breast cancer and about the medical system and about living versus dying. Highly recommend.