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Stroke Book – Entanglements of Time, Health Care and Queerness


Ideas with Impact: Humanities research responds to today’s global challenges

Jonathan Alexander, author of Stroke Book: The Diary of a Blind Spotin conversation with Dr. Sunita Puri, doctor in palliative medicine

In the summer of 2019, Jonathan Alexander suffered a minor stroke. Stroke Book is a work of creative non-fiction and critical memory. Originally written in the aftermath of this health crisis, it recounts his very encounter with our subjection to time and a recognition that queer time has its own rhythms, fluctuations and perversities. Jonathan Alexander and Dr. Sunita Puri will talk about how he experienced his health crisis in very particular ways that cannot be separated from his experiences in this culture as a queer person – and how the care of medicine responds to those who refuse to engage in disentanglement.

Jonathan Alexander, Professor of English and Gender and Sexuality Studies at UCI, is the author, co-author or co-editor of 22 books, including academic books and memoirs. He focuses on young adult fiction, science fiction, lifespan writing, and multimodal compositional forms such as “fan texts”.

Sunita Puri, MD, is a palliative medicine physician and has established a palliative care service at Keck Hospital and Norris Cancer Center for the past 6 years. That Good Night: Life and Medicine at the Eleventh Hourpublished in 2019, tells the story of witnessing the tension between medicine’s impulse to preserve life at all costs and a spiritual embrace of the temporality of life that drew her to palliative medicine.