We are delighted to offer ‘Malignant: How Cancer Becomes Us’ (UCPress) by S. Lochlann Jain for review as part of a forthcoming CMH edition of cancer in the medical humanities and the social exploration of suffering and survival. As always, we welcome expressions of interest from all angles of the medical humanities but this book might be particularly well suited to reviewers with a social, academic or clinical interest in oncology.
‘Nearly half of all Americans will be diagnosed with an invasive cancer – an all-to-ordinary aspect of daily life. Through a powerful combination of cultural analysis and memoir, this stunningly original book explores why cancer remains so confounding, despite the billions of dollars spent in the search for a cure. Amid furious debates over its causes and treatments, scientists generate reams of data – information that ultimately obscures as much as it clarifies.
Award-winning anthropologist S. Lochlann Jain deftly unscrambles the high stakes of the resulting confusion. Expertly reading across a range of material that includes history, oncology, law, economics, and literature, Jain explains how a national culture that simultaneously aims to deny, profit from, and cure cancer entraps us in a state of paradox – one that makes the world of cancer virtually impossible to navigate for doctors, patients, caretakers, and policy makers alike.
This chronicle, burning with urgency and substance leavened with brio and wit, offers a lucid guide to understanding and navigating the quicksand of uncertainty at the heart of cancer. Malignant vitally shifts the terms of an epic battle we have been losing for decades: the war on cancer.’
If you would like to write a review on ‘Malignant’ (approximately 1,000-1,500 words in length), then please email our reviews editor with a short explanation of why you are well placed to review the book.