The Wild Mandrake: A Memoir
Published by: Dundurn Press
Imprint: Dundurn Press
Sales Date: 2023-08-29
Published: August 2023
Imprint: Dundurn Press
Page Count: 208 Pages
Dimensions: 5.50 x 8.50
208 Pages, 5.50 x 8.50 x 0.50 in
In StockAdd to Wishlist
On the cusp of adulthood, a young writer’s life is stalled as he faces cancer that keeps coming back.
Doctors used to tell him he was cured. That was a long time ago. Ever since he first left home at age nineteen, writer Jason Jobin has had cancer. Every five years, like clockwork, it relapses, and yet he always pulls through, surrounded by friends and family but isolated by illness. Chemotherapy, surgeries, radiation — these persist, but they aren’t the milestones of his life. They can’t be, he won’t let them be.
From helicoptering into the Yukon backcountry to teaching in an elite writing program, Jason strives to enter adulthood with some normalcy, but his is the life of “a special case.” And he does live. He lives working at a deli for minimum wage as his students come down the hill to shop and ask what he’s doing there. He lives measuring out nausea pills and benzos while his roommates drink and smoke and party. He lives lying to girlfriends about past diagnoses because what can you say? What do you build on rubble? He lives high and low and in between. Again he is sick, again he is cured. It’s miraculous. A great gift. But never enough.
Told in short glimpses, this story redefines what it means to survive. Jobin brings together the illuminated moments of loss and joy as he navigates chronic illness and builds from it something new and wildly unexpected.
Jobin defies the odds, not just in beating death, but writing a book that’s engaging, casually brilliant, often funny. BILL GASTON, author of Just Let Me Look at You
His voice is incomparable, lucid, and irreverent in all the right ways. I will hold this book close to my heart for its honesty and courage and fine, fine writing. LORNA CROZIER, award-winning poet and author of Through the Garden
How do you run if the killer lurks within? Where do you hide? Does anyone, ever, outrun themselves? Jason Jobin asks these questions and delivers an intimate, masterful story about endlessly circling the block, driving toward his own destruction, trying to kill the thing that’s killing him.YASUKO THANH, author of Mysterious Fragrance of the Yellow Mountains