The University of Wisconsin Press

Autobiography & Memoir / Travel / Health, Medicine & Disability / American Studies / Fiction

Love and Fatigue in America
Roger King

Terrace Books

“[An] extraordinary autobiographical novel. . . .The narrative expertly cobbles together unexpected moments of poetry; meditations on illness, war, and ambition; and vignettes, which—like the narrator himself—alternately admit devastating failures and sing with triumph.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

When an Englishman receives an invitation from an American university, he embraces it as a jubilant new beginning. Instead, on arrival, he is stricken with a persistent inability to stand up or think straight. Diagnosed with ME disease—also called chronic fatigue syndrome—he moves restlessly across his newly adopted country, searching for a love and a life suited to his new condition. Love and Fatigue in America briskly compresses an illness, a nation, and an era in a masterly blend of literary forms.

“This moving autobiographical novel . . . brings into relief many of America’s follies and excesses, most notably our health-care system. . . . After more than fifteen years, America brings the narrator ‘not aspiration realized, nor a largeness of life fitting to its open spaces, but the nascent ability to be satisfied with less.’” —The New Yorker

“Roger King’s conflation of fiction, memoir and poetry . . . fashions a rich, compelling and often wry narrative out of a set of circumstances that could quite easily fatigue the reader’s interest or sympathy. Pithily but not selfpitifully, he captures ‘the labor of being sick in America,’ the psychology and stigma of disease, as well as the essences of places and personalities.” —Eric J. Iannelli, Times Literary Supplement

“Roger King’s disturbing, delightful odyssey encompasses many subjects—love, loss, health, illness, disconnection, and most of all, the modern American psyche: its roots and its rootlessness. A profound and wonderfully original book.”
—Joan Wickersham, author of The Suicide Index

Portrait of author Roger King/ Photo Credit Michelle AldredgeRoger King is author of four previous novels: Horizontal Hotel, Written on a Stranger's Map, Sea Level, and A Girl from Zanzibar. He has worked extensively in Africa and Asia, and has held university posts in both international development and creative writing. Since 1991 he has suffered from ME disease, also known as chronic fatigue syndrome. A native of London, he now lives in Leverett, Massachusetts.
Photo credit: Michelle Aldredge.


“King's observations, both of himself and of the country in which he finds himself marooned, are so keen, and so humorous, that it is difficult to feel anything other than admiration. What makes this book stand out among other memoirs is King's unflinching, yet completely unself-serving honesty. King is not out to shock his audience, or to make them feel his pain. He is merely telling the truth.”
Seattle Pi

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Image of a man lying down on a road with a pillow under his head and a dog at his side

February 2014
LC: 2011042648 PR
284 pp.   5 1/2 x 8 1/4

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Paper $19.95 t
ISBN 978-0-299-28724-5 Audiobook Audiobook
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A trade imprint of the University of Wisconsin Press

"What does it mean to live in between? Not only between geographical locations, but between health and illness, commitment and freedom, love and loss? In this wry and subtle autobio-graphical novel, Roger King maps the territory of his inner life onto the American continent. The genre-crossing result is, like the work of W.G. Sebald, surprising and dazzling."
—Andrea Barrett, author of The Air We Breathe and winner of the National Book Award

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Updated 9/19/2014

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