One of Francis's top ten books on sickness, as shared at the Guardian:
Eula Biss On Immunity: An Inoculation (2014)Read about the other entries on the list.
As a study of vaccination, interleaving personal memoir with literature, mythology, folklore and hard science, On Immunity belongs on the shelf alongside Siddhartha Mukherjee’s treatment of cancer in The Emperor of All Maladies. As a new mother, Biss felt suffocated by anxieties over whether to vaccinate her son, and, instead of giving in to them, embarked on a poetic exploration of inoculation. Reviewing it in these pages, I called it “lyrical and impassioned, lucid and enlightening”; Biss has a tremendous feel for the subtleties of language: “I hung up the phone and fell asleep with my face on a pile of articles about herd immunity. I woke to find that a fragment of print had been transferred to my cheek. It spelled ‘munity’, from the Latin munis for service or duty. ‘Munity is what you are really writing about’, a colleague would say to me months later.”