Denmark, Maine - September 24, 2023 at 5pm.
Join author Jennifer Lunden discusses her most recent book, AMERICAN BREAKDOWN A Silent Spring for the human body, this wide-ranging, genre-crossing literary mystery interweaves the author’s quest to understand the source of her own condition with her telling of the story of the chronically ill 19th-century diarist Alice James—ultimately uncovering the many hidden health hazards of life in America.
When Jennifer Lunden became chronically ill shortly after moving from Canada to Maine, her case was a medical mystery. Just 21, unable to hold a book or stand for a shower, she lost her job and consigned herself to her bed. The doctor she went to for help told her she was “just depressed.”
After suffering from this enigmatic illness for five years, she discovered an unlikely source of hope and healing: a biography of Alice James, the bright, witty, and often bedridden sibling of the acclaimed novelist Henry James and the equally eminent psychologist-philosopher William James. Alice suffered from a life-shattering illness known as neurasthenia, now often dismissed as a “fashionable illness.”
In this meticulously researched and illuminating debut, Lunden interweaves her own experience with Alice’s, exploring the history of medicine and the effects of the industrial revolution and late-stage capitalism to tell a riveting story of how we are a nation struggling—and failing—to be healthy.
Although science—and the politics behind its funding—has in many ways let Lunden and millions like her down, in the end science offers a revelation that will change how readers think about the ecosystems of their bodies, their communities, the country, and the planet. The Authors’ Series is funded by the generous donation of an anonymous Angel and support from Denmark Arts Center guests, thank you!
Tickets for these events are $10 suggested donation or Pay-What-You-Can supporting the Authors Series and Denmark Arts Center. Our HEPA air purifier systems and ventilation will be engaged for indoor performances. For reservations and more information go online at www.denmarkarts.org/events (view calendar listing).