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With equal parts wit and empathy, lived experience and cultural criticism, Kelly Davio’s It’s Just Nerves: Notes on a Disability explores what it means to live with an illness in our contemporary culture, whether at home or abroad.

“When the body attacks itself, the crisis is not just of bones and blood, but of beauty and boundaries. ‘Strange men have had their hands on me for days,’ Kelly Davio observes during a plasma treatment. Her skillful portrait of myasthenia gravis does not exist in a vacuum. It’s Just Nerves is in keen dialogue with the world around us—critiquing modern health care, pub seating etiquette, alarming election outcomes, smarmy meditation culture, and caricatures of illness in ads and on screen. ‘Oxygen is delicious,’ Davio reminds us, before the fire breaks out. A brisk, funny, and at times startlingly poetic memoir.” —Sandra Beasley, author of Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from an Allergic Life

“Kelly Davio’s It’s Just Nerves feels like the book I’ve been waiting for all my life. If you want to know what it feels like to be a person with a disability in the 21st century, read this book. From mindfulness to yoga pants, Davio skewers ableist fabrications and brings us to a vital, ebullient, and sometimes terrifying reckoning with our real and shared human experience. She is a very funny writer and also a fearless one. Once I started reading these essays, I couldn’t put them down; they resounded through me like poetry or truth.” —Sheila Black, author of House of Bone and Love/Iraq

“Kelly Davio’s got so much incredible stuff brewing together on every page of these nimble, shapeshifting essays: meditations on the politics of illness, the body in crisis, the spirit in bloom, David Bowie—all of it filtered, carefully, through the lithe sensibility of a poet. The results are equal parts witty and wise, heartrending and rapturous. Man, I loved this book.” —Mike Scalise, author of The Brand New Catastrophe

About the Author: Kelly Davio is the author of Burn This House. She lives and writes in New Jersey.


ISBN: 978-1-941960-06-6
144 pages. 5.5" x 8.5"
Paperback: $18.00

Official publication date: October 2, 2017
Preorders ship date: September 15, 2017

Preorder your copy today!
(The book will not ship until September 2017.)

(For international orders, please use this link instead.)


See also:

When We Become Weavers: Queer Female Poets on the Midwestern Experience
Among the Leaves: Queer Male Poets on the Midwestern Experience
Queer & Celtic: On the Irish LGBT Experience
Lincoln Avenue: Chicago Stories
QDA: A Queer Disability Anthology
At Danceteria and Other Stories
London Skin & Bones: The Finsbury Park Stories


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