TABLE OF CONTENTS

PRINT December 2019

books

Marina Vishmidt

In a social order held together by the bones of those who didn’t survive it, cancer can act as a lenticular tool to hold our fates in high resolution. The uninsured and underinsured suffer, decline, and die quickly, mostly; the insured suffer, decline, and undie, ideally. But to undie is not quite the same as to live, even if the terminal shadow takes on iridescence with every day that marks your distance from it. Anne Boyer’s The Undying (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), her concatenated memoir of undergoing treatment for aggressive breast cancer, has at its core “the most optimistic form of suffering”: namely, the routine treatments that are as brutal, and often as lethal, as what they’re trying to destroy. Boyer’s chronicle is told with the exhilarating acuity that her other writing would lead you to expect; it’s hurtful and delirious to read. Steeped in the history and literature

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW at the discounted holiday rate of $45 a year—70% off the newsstand price—and receive the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the December 2019 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.