The Plague and I

The Plague and I

Book - 2016
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"Getting tuberculosis in the middle of your life is like starting downtown to do a lot of urgent errands and being hit by a bus. When you regain consciousness you remember nothing about the urgent errands. You can't even remember where you were going."

Thus begins Betty MacDonald's memoir of her year in a sanatorium just outside Seattle battling the "White Plague." MacDonald uses her offbeat humor to make the most of her time in the TB sanatorium--making all of us laugh in the process.

Publisher: Seattle : University of Washington Press, 2016
Copyright Date: ©1976
ISBN: 9780295999784
0295999780
Characteristics: 226 pages ; 22 cm

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d
dmilesat
Jan 26, 2017

"The Plague and I" gives a good picture not just of TB treatment at Firland Sanatorium (called "The Pines" in the book) but a clear-eyed look at a small part of Pacific Northwest society in the 1930s. Some surprises there. A different picture of a Northwest institution from that in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," but, like that later book, showing the funny side.

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JanPruatt
Jul 31, 2016

If you like this book you may like The Egg and I also by Betty MacDonald.

h
howiecat
Oct 22, 2015

A great memoir of Betty MacDonald spending a year of her life in Firland Sanitorium for TB. Firland is in Shoreline, Wa. Amusing, heart wrenching, but a real look at how people were treated for TB in 1930:s. Luckily she survived with the help of her loving Bard family. Betty was living in a house one mile from the University District when this occurred.

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JanPruatt
Jul 31, 2016

JanPruatt thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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JanPruatt
Jul 31, 2016

The Pines where Betty MacDonald spent her nine months recuperating from tuberculosis (TB) is actually Firland, a sanatorium located in Seattle, Washington. Betty wrote about how she learned that she had TB – then just as much the terrifying killer that cancer can be now – and that she must enter a sanatorium for treatment. It meant such an upheaval in her life that she could not help but be dismayed. What would become of her two daughters while she was recovering?
Such a story is hardly the basis for comedy, yet in this case with Betty MacDonald at the helm we find that after the initial shock had passed, her natural buoyancy reasserted itself and from the day she entered the hospital until the day she left, she proceeded to laugh at her illness, the other patients, the nurses, the doctors and – mostly – at herself.
She, of course, had her bad moments when the despair and tragedy underlying what she saw and heard refused to be pushed astern, but she gritted her teeth and rode the waves with cheer and her funny bone intact.
Since this book is set near where I grew up and I’d always wanted to read more of MacDonald’s stories this fit the bill.

If you decide to read this book and like it you may be interested in another memoir by her, The Egg and I. Enjoy!

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JanPruatt
Jul 31, 2016

I like my chosen companions to be distinguishable from the undulating masses and I don't care how.

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