Living in the Land of Limbo is the first anthology of short stories and poems about family caregivers. These men and women find themselves in ""limbo,"" as they struggle to take care of a family member or friend in the uncertain world of chronic illness. The authors explore caregivers' experiences as they deal with family conflicts, the complexities of the health care system and the impact of their choices on their lives and the lives of others. The book includes selections devoted to caregivers of ageing parents; husbands and wives; ill children; and relatives, lovers and friends. A final section is devoted to paid caregivers and their clients. Among the conditions that form the background of the selections are dementia, HIV/AIDS, mental illness, multiple sclerosis and paediatric cancer.Many of the authors are well-known poets and writers, but others have not been published in mainstream media. They represent a range of cultural backgrounds. Although their works approach caregiving in very different ways, the authors share a commitment to emotional truth, unvarnished by societal ideals of what caregivers should feel and do. These stories and poems paint profoundly moving and revealing portraits of family caregivers.
Carol Levine directs the United Hospital Fund's Families and Health Care Project. She is a former editor of the Hastings Center Report. In 1993 she was awarded a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship for her work in AIDS policy and ethics. She edited Always On Call: When Illness Turns Families into Caregivers (2nd edition, Vanderbilt University Press, 2004).
IntroductionCarol LevinePart I Children of Aging ParentsDiem PerdidiJulie OtsukaWhosoever: The Language of Mothers and SonsRick MoodyThe Third DumpsterGish JenWaterLi-Young LeeLuckyTony HoaglandFathers and SonsDavid MasonYesterdayW. S. MerwinOde to MeaningRobert PinskyBuckdancer's ChoiceJames DickeyWhere the Groceries WentRaymond CarverPart II Husbands and WivesMrs. Cassidy's Last YearMary GordonWe Are Nighttime TravelersEthan CaninThe Ship PoundingDonald HallThe Sick WifeJane KenyonAlzheimer's: The WifeAlzheimer's: The HusbandC. K. WilliamsThe Bear Came Over the MountainAlice MunroThoreau's LaundryAnn HarlemanThe YawnRachel HadasMrs. DumptyVisiting Hours Are OverChana BlochHe Read to HerAnne BrashlerPart III Parents and Sick ChildrenHow to WinRosellen BrownPeople Like That Are the Only People HereLorrie MooreChildren's WardSarah DayParents Support GroupDick AllenStarterAmy HanridgePart IV Relatives, Lovers, and FriendsThe ClosetAllegra GoodmanThe CaregiverEugenia CollierAtlantisMark DotyOceanic Hotel, NiceTereze GluckPart V Paid CaregiversA Pension PlanHa JinA Bad Day for PiscesFran Pokras YarivWheelchairLewis NordanGod's GoodnessMarjorie KemperPart VI Resources