Friday, September 07, 2007

I've Heard the Vultures Singing by Lucia Perillo

Lucia Perillo is a poet. That is how I came to know her and I love her work. When this new title came out, I was expecting poetry. I was surprised to get a book of essays. And delighted.

Perillo has MS as do I. This book explores what it is like to deal with a debilitating disease and the losses caused by that disease, especially when that person was so independent. Perillo used to work as a naturalist and spend huge amounts of time alone, outdoors, doing very physical things. Now she is in a wheelchair. Not that this book is a whine, more of an explanation with some bitching thrown in for good measure.

I kept reading parts aloud to my husband prefaced with, "wow, she really gets this right, this is exactly how I feel."

And maybe that is why I liked this book so well. She gets it right. But that is according to me. Our experiences are similar. Someone else with MS might feel completely different. A disease like MS with so many permutations is hard to pin down. And personality plays such a big role in how a person deals with the day to day crap of it all.

All that aside though, Perillo, is amusing and charming and a little sad and a total pleasure to read. Get this book!