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Works of fiction where characters have ME/CFS

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS discussion' started by Tom Kindlon, Oct 29, 2022.

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  1. Tom Kindlon

    Tom Kindlon Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I thought I would set up a thread on this
     
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  2. Tom Kindlon

    Tom Kindlon Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    “Meet me on the Buddy Bench”
    I saw this featured in the latest ME Association magazine.

    It's a 2022 novel written by somebody with ME where one of the main characters has ME themselves.

    Author interview
    https://portobellobookblog.com/2022...e-on-the-buddy-bench-choclituk-hannahpearl_1/
    though this doesn't give as much information as the ME Association magazine piece which I can't find online

    10 reviews
    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/60434727-meet-me-on-the-buddy-bench

    I haven't read it myself
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2022
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  3. Tom Kindlon

    Tom Kindlon Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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  4. Tom Kindlon

    Tom Kindlon Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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  5. Tom Kindlon

    Tom Kindlon Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    The State of Me Paperback – January 1, 2008
    by Nasim Marie Jafry

    Semi-autobiographical.
     
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  6. Tom Kindlon

    Tom Kindlon Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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  7. Tom Kindlon

    Tom Kindlon Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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  8. Tom Kindlon

    Tom Kindlon Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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  9. Tom Kindlon

    Tom Kindlon Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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  10. Tom Kindlon

    Tom Kindlon Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Last edited: Oct 29, 2022
  11. Tom Kindlon

    Tom Kindlon Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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  12. Tom Kindlon

    Tom Kindlon Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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  13. Adrian

    Adrian Administrator Staff Member

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  14. Theresa

    Theresa Established Member (Voting Rights)

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    There is a novel Falling through the World by Rachel Clarke published in 2012, I can't remember what I thought of it but it has positive reviews on Amazon.
     
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  15. Yvonne

    Yvonne Established Member (Voting Rights)

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    The Son by Jo Nesbo has a minor character who has ME. He is a drug addict staying in a hostel, spending most of his time in bed with the curtains closed, using all his energy to get drugs. It mentions that he received a lot of diagnoses before ME. I'm reading the book at the moment.
    https://jonesbo.com/book/the-son/
     
  16. JemPD

    JemPD Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Its good. Read it yrs ago when i could still read. Nasim was very big in the advocacy commnity, but i havent seen her for a while but thats likely because i dont have energy to go anywhere but here & the occasional look at MEA fb. She's a very cool person i liked her a lot will have to google what shes up to now
     
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  17. Shadrach Loom

    Shadrach Loom Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Can we diagnose retrospectively for authors writing before ME was identified?

    Henry Woodhouse, the father in Emma, maybe? Grandfather Smallweed in Bleak House throws pillows at his relatives, lamenting that he lacks the strength to throw anything heavier. I think we’ve all been there.

    And there’s an immobile chap in the book of Matthew who is ordered to pick up his mat and walk, although the apostle glosses over the ensuing PEM.

    I suppose that for BPS researchers, the best example of an ME sufferer in fiction would be Colin Craven in The Secret Garden, cured of his illness beliefs by exercise, Yorkshire air, and horticultural social prescribing.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 30, 2022
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  18. JemPD

    JemPD Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    They are all characters who are hypochondriacs as far as i can tell. Not people with ME. Although i dont remember Smallweed very well, but Emma's father for sure is a health anxiety sufferer.

    So these are not characters with ME but rather characters with difficulties that the ignorant like to think are called ME/CFS nowadays
     
  19. Shadrach Loom

    Shadrach Loom Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    So I’m assuming that people who had ME in the nineteenth century had as much difficulty being believed as they do now, and were easy prey for ironic novelists.
     
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  20. JemPD

    JemPD Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    quite likely they did/were. But i dont want to reinforce their ignorance.

    The characters they describe are hypochondriacal. PwME are not (in general - of course you will always get a few hypochondriacs who also have ME, same as anything)

    So to my mind those characters do not have ME. I'd even go so far as to say that if the ignorant of the 21st century may well, in their ignorance look at those characters and say 'oh that would be called ME these days', and my answer would be - 'not by anyone who knows what ME is'.

    So i dont think it helps anyone/anything, for those of us who do understand what ME is like, & therefore how far from the reality of ME such portrayals are, to suggest that they had ME.
     
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