Pain regularly accompanies illness, as David Biro knows only too well. Faced with a bone marrow
transplant, the young doctor was determined to study his pain but found himself unable to articulate its depths,
even to his doctors and wife. He has now discovered a way to break through the silent wall of suffering—physical
and psychological—and wants to share it with others. In his new book, the critically acclaimed author expertly
weaves together compelling stories and artwork from patients along with insights from some of our greatest
thinkers, writers, and artists.

In the tradition of Susan Sontag’s Illness as Metaphor, Biro’s groundbreaking book is sure to transform
our understanding of and ability to communicate pain. Language can alleviate the loneliness of pain and
improve the chances that other people—family, friends, and doctors—empathize and respond most effectively.

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“True genius… Each thoughtfully selected example helps to find the language
that Biro seeks… Through many individual components, Biro creates a larger portrait of pain,
deftly addressing the physical as well as the psychological aspects of the human experience of pain…
He moves beyond simply recounting events and instead transforms how the reader thinks about pain.”
Preeti N. Malani, Journal of the American Medical Association


“Here’s a pain medication you can’t get at the pharmacy…Thoughtful, lyrical…
We should pay attention to Biro’s difficult, complicated lesson.”
Publishers Weekly


“Enlightening… rich in its philosophic and literary meditations on pain and
metaphor… Biro is to be commended for the acuity and sensitivity of his reflections
Raymond C. Tait, PsycCritiques, the American Psychological Association