In On Immunity: An Inoculation by Eula Biss (Graywolf 2014), as the body transforms into a deepening river, a young queen, a religious document, a government, and a garden, Biss explains how the magic of metaphor is our way of relating to the unsettling, the complex and the invisible. The hero’s journey—in this case, a new mother trying to navigate vaccinations for her son—is an expedition through dialogue and anecdotes supplemented with social, scientific and historical evidence to attain the enlightenment that: morality, like language, cannot be private. At heart, in this hybrid between memoir, nonfiction, and (I’ll argue) poetry, we learn that the body is both self and other, at all times public and private; but, more importantly, that the body knows no privilege.
Eula Biss, On Immunity: An Innoculation. Published by Graywolf, 2014. 216 pages.
About the Author: Abigail Browning
Abigail Browning, Founder and Managing Editor, a native of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, received her MFA in Poetry at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Abigail has poems either published or forthcoming in the Yemassee Journal Online, The Greensboro Review, Linebreak, and RHINO Poetry. In addition, she was honored to receive the Amon Liner Poetry Award, the Noel Callow/Academy of American Poets’ Prize, and was a finalist for the Linda Flowers NC Arts Prize. She also has a passion for jazz music and dance, and teaches swing-era dances in her free time: www.abigailbrowning.com.