Please join us for a virtual reading and conversation in honor of Pain Studies by Lisa Olstein. For this event, Olstein will be interviewed by Eula Biss.
Register for this free event HERE. This event will be held on Crowdcast. Registrants will be emailed an access link to attend this event.
In this extended lyric essay, a poet mines her lifelong experience with migraine to deliver a marvelously idiosyncratic cultural history of pain–how we experience, express, treat, and mistreat it. Her sources range from the trial of Joan of Arc to the essays of Virginia Woolf and Elaine Scarry to Hugh Laurie’s portrayal of Gregory House on House M.D. As she engages with science, philosophy, visual art, rock lyrics, and field notes from her own medical adventures (both mainstream and alternative), she finds a way to express the often-indescribable experience of living with pain. Eschewing simple epiphanies, Olstein instead gives us a new language to contemplate and empathize with a fundamental aspect of the human condition.
Lisa Olstein teaches at the University of Texas at Austin and is the author of four poetry collections published by Copper Canyon Press. Pain Studies is her first book of creative nonfiction.
Eula Biss is the author, most recently, of On Immunity: An Inoculation, which was named one of the 10 Best Books of 2014 by the New York Times Book Review. Her second book, Notes from No Man’s Land: American Essays, won the National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism in 2010. Her first book, The Balloonists, was published by Hanging Loose Press in 2002. Her writing has been supported by a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Howard Foundation Fellowship, an NEA Literature Fellowship, and a Jaffe Writers’ Award. She holds a B.A. in nonfiction writing from Hampshire College and a M.F.A. in nonfiction writing from the University of Iowa. Her essays have recently appeared in The Believer, Harper’s, and The New York Times Magazine.