Category: Adult non-fiction 18 yrs +, 296 pages
Publisher: She Writes Press.
Release date: August 2019
Content Rating: PG-13 + M. In addition to its primary
focus on confronting terminal illness in the context of a complex
mother-daughter relationship, this book addresses mature themes of
sexuality (specifically BDSM), death, and illness. Conversations about
sexuality are related, sex toys and body parts are mentioned by name,
but there are no actual erotic sex scenes. There are healthcare scenes
that describe procedures and bodily functions and fluids. There is a
fair amount of poop in some scenes. The F-word appears once, on page
167, used in an expletive sense. The word “shit” appears twice, once as
an expletive on p. 51 and once in reference to bodily waste and also
What happens when a forty-something, community college sociology
professor learns that her mother―a charming, passive-aggressive, and
needy woman who hasn’t had a lover in decades―has started seeing men who
want to be bound, whipped, and sexually dominated?
What happens when that same mother, shortly after diving into her newly discovered
sexuality, develops a cancer that forces her to accept radical changes
to her body, and then another that forces her, and everyone around her,
to confront her mortality?
In Bound, Elizabeth Anne Wood addresses these
questions as she chronicles the last eight months of her mother’s
life―a period she comes to see, over the course of months, as a
maternity leave in reverse: she is carrying her mother as she dies.
Throughout their journey, Wood uses her notebook as a shield to keep
unruly emotions at bay, often taking comfort in her role as advocate and
forgetting to “be the daughter,” as one doctor reminds her to do.
Meanwhile, her mother’s penchant for denial and her childlike tendency
toward magical thinking lead to moments of humor even as Wood battles
the red tape of hospital bureaucracies, the frustration of planning in
the midst of an unpredictable illness, and the unintentional inhumanity
of a health care system that too often fails to see the person behind
the medical chart.
* Kew and Willow is Dr. Wood’s local indie bookstore. If you
put a comment in the order form saying that you want a signed copy,
they’ll call the author to come down and sign your book. They also do a
lovely wrapping job.
Elizabeth Anne Wood is Professor of Sociology and Chair of the
Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work at Nassau
Community College in Garden City, NY. She is also Senior Strategist for
Woodhull Freedom Foundation, the nation’s only human rights organization
working full time to protect sexual freedom as a fundamental human
right. She earned her PhD at Brandeis University in 1999 and has written
critically about sexuality and society ever since. Born on an Army base
in Kentucky, Wood grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia and now
divides her time between Queens, New York and Jamaica Plain, Boston. She
is a devoted fan of Amtrak and an avowed cat person.
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