Saturday, April 8, 2023

Seven titles about the scam of wellness

Ling Ling Huang is a writer and violinist. She plays with several ensembles, including the Oregon Symphony, Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra, ProMusica, Chamber Orchestra, and the Experiential Orchestra, with whom she won a Grammy Award in 2021.

Natural Beauty is her first novel.

At Electric Lit she tagged seven "books that, together, begin to form a clear picture of what wellness is and what it isn’t, who it currently serves, and who it excludes." One title on the list:
Rest is Resistance: A Manifesto by Tricia Hersey

An absolutely vital book that addresses and provides a real antidote to many of the ills of wellness. As a society, we’ve normalized and internalized exhaustion as a necessity. We are praised when we work ourselves to the bone. Hersey, the Nap Bishop, shares the small personal moments, the histories of her family and people, that led her to the solution and the gift of napping. She addresses the importance of resisting the frenzied pace of our culture and provides exercises and meditations for liberation practice so that we can “no longer be ravaged by this culture’s incessant need to keep going up matter what, to produce at all costs.”

This is a book about self-care that uses the term in the way Audre Lorde initially meant it. As someone who fully participates in so-called grind culture, this book was often difficult for me to read. I am thankful for the ways it has disrupted previous ways of thinking, pushing me to consider myself as someone who has value even when I am not producing, creating, or consuming.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue