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On Immunity: An Inoculation (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

Eula Biss is an excellent writer: relatable, super smart, and not too showy. This book is skinny in size but kind of huge in implication — spanning a lot of the critical questions we ask ourselves as modern humans who must live and work in close proximity to each other. Biss explores the issues of infectious disease and parenting, the history of and debate on vaccination, and what it means to be "healthy" in age of technology. It's a great read and a great choice for book clubs. 

Good for: 

  • Feeling culturally and politically relevant
  • Intellectual stimulation
  • Moments of incredible insight
  • Feeling academic and impressing strangers
— From Ali's Picks

Rachel's Pick

I loved every second of this book...and I'm not a non-fiction reader. It is heartfelt, educational, and extremely well researched. Great from beginning to end, Eula Biss continues to amaze me with her skill as a writer! Pub date: September 30.

— From Rachel's Picks


The hugely acclaimed New York Times Best Seller, now available in paperback

*A National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist*

The New York Times Book Review (Top 10), Entertainment Weekly (Top 10), New York Magazine, Chicago Tribune (Top 10), Publishers Weekly (Top 10), Time Out New York (Top 10), Los Angeles Times, Kirkus, Booklist, NPR's Science Friday, Newsday, Slate, Refinery 29, and many more...

In this bold, fascinating book, Eula Biss addresses our fear of the government, the medical establishment, and what may be in our children's air, food, mattresses, medicines, and vaccines. Reflecting on her own experience as a new mother, she suggests that we cannot immunize our children, or ourselves, against the world. As she explores the metaphors surrounding immunity, Biss extends her conversations with other mothers to meditations on the myth of Achilles, Voltaire's Candide, Bram Stoker's Dracula, Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, Susan Sontag's AIDS and Its Metaphors, and beyond. On Immunity is an inoculation against our fear and a moving account of how we are all interconnected-our bodies and our fates.

About the Author

Eula Biss is the author of The Balloonists and Notes from No Man's Land, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award in criticism and which Salon deemed "the most accomplished book of essays anyone has written or published so far in the twenty-first century." Her work has appeared in The Believer, Harper's Magazine, and The New York Times. She has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Howard Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. She lives in the Chicago area and teaches at Northwestern University.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781555977207
ISBN-10: 1555977200
Publisher: Graywolf Press
Publication Date: September 15th, 2015
Pages: 224
Language: English