Review: Felstiner, M. (2005). Out of joint: a private & public story of arthritis. Lincoln, London: University of Nebraska Press

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Ann E. Millett-Gallant, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:

Abstract: In Out of Joint: A Private & Public Story of Arthritis, Mary Felstiner tackles the epic task of writing about bodily pain. This "healing history" is a part medical, part autobiographical, and part cultural analysis (which prove hard to separate), of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a treatable but incurable, autoimmune disease that inflames and swells the joints, wears down cartilage, and produces consequential impairments and fatigue. Of the many forms of arthritis affecting 70 million adults, or 1 in 3 Americans, rheumatoid is the second most common and the most severe, causing chronic, unpredictable, and debilitating pain. Inspired by this historian's inquiry and inability to find personal narratives of her disease, the book provides important research, such as analyses of biblical, literary, and historical themes of arthritis, as well as the history of medical treatments and privatization of arthritis from 1940 to present. However, the book's draw is Felstiner's personal voice and its process of going public.

Additional Information

Disability Studies Quarterly
Language: English
Date: 2006
Arthritis, Memoir, Biography

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