Pain Woman Takes Your Keys by Sonya Huber

I discovered Sonya Huber when she initiated plans for the virtual Disability March in January. When I found an advanced reader copy of her book of essays called Pain Woman Takes Your Keys on Netgalley, I didn’t hesitate. I sent a request to receive one. That was one of the best decisions I’ve made in a while.

Sonya’s work is on a whole other playing field. Her writing is visceral, yet tender. She says early on that she hopes that the book isn’t depressing since she had so much fun writing it. I felt a lot of emotions as I read the book. Not one of them came anywhere close to depression! These are all previously published, but I thought the unique structure added to the power of each individual essay.

Not only do we get the power of her experience, she is well-read in the field of pain. I added several books to my to-be-read list to explore others’ experiences with pain more deeply.

One of the ways she lives in the midst of pain is called “pain selfies” to help her love her self in pain. I love the way she talks about buying and using her cane. I felt similar emotions when I started walking with my cane and can relate to her feelings of vulnerability when her cane spoke silently of “all they [others] cannot see.”I thought asking people to send her stickers to make her cane “a joyful explosion of adhesives that draws more attention and brings more joy than an anonymous metal pole.”

My favorite part of the book is when she tells us about herself as a writer and how pain affects her writing voice. “Pain Woman has stuff to tell you, and she has one minute to do so before she’s too tired.” She talks about how we need to listen to ourselves as we swim in our multiple voices. We have to wrestle with what we hear, which might not match our idealized versions of ourselves. There’s more that she describes as part of her experience as a writer who experiences pain, but I want you to read it for yourself.

This book was everything I expected it to be and even more. Read it. You won’t be disappointed.


About lana1967

I'm a Southern girl at heart who wants to build a community of people who believe they can change the world with words like "love" and "freedom" when they become more than words, but actions in our work and our daily lives.
This entry was posted in chronic illness, creativity, language, reading, voice, women, writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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