Porochista Khakpour

Author of Sons and Other Flammable Objects,
The Last Illusion and


In the tradition of Brain on Fire and Darkness Visible, an honest, beautifully rendered memoir of chronic illness, misdiagnosis, addiction, and the myth of full recovery that details author Porochista Khakpour’s struggles with late-stage Lyme disease.

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Porochista Khakpour’s powerful memoir, Sick, reads like a mystery and a reckoning with a love song at its core… Khakpour takes us all the way in on her struggle toward health with an intelligence and intimacy that moved, informed, and astonished me.

Cheryl Strayed, New York Times bestselling author of Wild

Sickness, in the world and in the body, is an attempt to flatten the individual, to make it conform to an inflexible name. Porochista Khakpour resists this on every page. Her writing is first of all vibrant, humming, strong, tall, striding…

Patricia Lockwood, author of Priestdaddy

Sick is a riveting plunge into the most profound mysteries of mind and body—the haunted labyrinths of addiction; a chronic illness that mightily resists answers; and, ultimately, a diagnosis that proves just as confounding: late-stage Lyme disease.

Laura van den Berg, author of The Third Hotel

This is a story of towering frustrations written so beautifully that through the weird alchemy of art it ends up lifting the reader’s spirits… This is a gripping, moving, thoughtful meditation written at the highest levels of narrative engagement.

Matthew Thomas, New York Times bestselling author of We Are Not Ourselves

…I experience Porochista Khakpour’s Sick as an act of radical friendship because nobody should know this much about anybody else unless they love each other… Thrumming, diaristic, unabashedly wild and homeless-feeling, Sick is something gut-wrenching and new, a globally intimate book.

Eileen Myles, author of Afterglow

Porochista Khakpour threads together a startling tapestry of stories about a young woman seeking place — in the America she flees to as a refugee of Iran, in a medical system that offers her no answers, in the empty promises of pill bottles and… in the body.

Suleika Jaouad, author of the New York Times “Life, Interrupted” column and video series

Sick stages on the page what is at stake for a body under endless siege from addiction, illness, trauma, dislocation and dispossession. By sharing her body story, Porochista Khakpour gives the reader a profoundly generous gift: an unflinching narrative of the deep desire to live.

Lidia Yuknavitch, Bestselling author of The Book of Joan

Readers, writers, and sick people all crave origin stories, and Khakpour tries to serve one up: the first bad decision, the first bad boyfriend, the first childhood trauma? A tick bite in California? Which came first, addiction or infection? Then she shows us the oceanic mess that is chronic illness… and how it becomes an ongoing presence.

Sarah Manguso, author of 300 Arguments

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