Sunday, December 26, 2021

A Still Life by Josie George: Yes, read it (a short recommendation)

Here is the first long book I’ve read in too long. Thank goodness for holiday break and the time it provides to remember how to read again—the steady focus, the pause and return, the belief that each page might bring more than the last and to wait while going.

I bought it after my first publisher, Sharon Blackie, recommended it in her newsletter. And I’m glad that she did (and that she takes time to write updates that are so varied and wise). 

I, too, recommend this book. A Still Life, a memoir by Josie George. She provides a quiet and intense examination of her world in the world, and her body inside her body—a body that has been behaving erratically (pain, blackouts, infections, weakness interrupted by months or more of consistent wellness) since childhood—a body that will not fall into a perfect diagnosis or cure—and, thus, the tired reactions of others and how this affects her way of being. She brings the reader into her interior world deftly and, because of everyone’s exhaustion with not knowing how to “fix” her, she gently welcomes us in and carefully shows her life as she’s known it and how differently others have viewed her life and how she’s known that, too.

It’s a good book. Those with similar experiences will likely find companionship in shared experiences of disability (and ableism), and able-bodied readers will find companionship in her deep commitment to understanding life, behavior, and inner/outer selves as well as her flung-open acceptance (and patient patience with family, strangers, friends, past loves, her son, and herself).

It’s a book to read in more than one sitting, which I appreciated.


  • Publisher’s website:
  • And if you’d like to subscribe to Sharon Blackie’s newsletter (mentioned above), that’s all here: