Common Read

“Between Two Kingdoms: A Memoir of A Life Interrupted”

Suleika Jaouad’s “Between Two Kingdoms” draws its title from the author’s devastating experience of acute myeloid leukemia followed by her reentry into a world of health and freedom. The book is a chronicle of her illness and medical treatment, her determined and creative survival, and the remaking of her life through new insights and relationships. The book is a memoir of illness, a narrative of the making and remaking of intimacies and relationships, an exploration of how heartbreak and illness produce writing and art, and the tale of a road trip across the U.S. 

“Everyone who is born holds dual citizenship, in the kingdom of the well and in the kingdom of the sick,” Susan Sontage wrote in “Illness as Metaphor.” “Although we all prefer to use only the good passport, sooner or later each of us is obliged, at least for a spell, to identify ourselves as citizens of that other place.” – p. 199, “Between Two Kingdoms.”