Book cover of three koi fish, white, orange, and yellow orange, in a dark pond

Every Last Breath

A Memoir of Two Illnesses

By Joanne Jacobson

Add to Cart

9781647690014 (paperback)
9781647690038 (ebook)

When Joanne Jacobson’s writing about her mother’s respiratory illness was interrupted by her own diagnosis with a rare blood disorder, she found her perspective profoundly altered. Every Last Breath follows these two chronic illnesses as they grow unexpectedly intertwined. Rejecting a fixed, retrospective point of view and the forward-moving trajectory of conventional memoir, Jacobson brings the reader to the emotionally raw present—where potentially fatal illness and “end of life” both remain, emphatically, life. As chronic illness blurs the distinction between illness and wellness, she discovers how a lifetime of relapse and remission can invite transformation. Written at the fluid, unsettling boundary between prose and poetry, these essays offer a narrative diagnosis of ongoing revision.