What's Wrong? Personal Histories of Chronic Pain and Bad Medicine

What's Wrong?

Personal Histories of Chronic Pain and Bad Medicine


Price: $29.99

  • Additional formats:
  • Publication Date: January 23, 2024
  • Imprint: Abrams ComicArts
  • Trim Size: 6 x 8
  • ISBN: 9781419747342
  • Page Count: 256
  • Illustrations: Full-color illustrations throughout
  • Rights: World/All

“A humane and gripping work that illuminates how (and why) our treatments of chronic illness fail, and a devastating portrait of the ways our society fails to protect the bodies of its most vulnerable members." Melissa Febos, author of Girlhood, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award

WHAT’S WRONG? is author, illustrator, and scientific researcher Erin Williams’s graphic exploration of how the American health-care system fails us. Focusing on four raw and complex firsthand accounts, plus Williams’s own story, this book examines the consequences of living with interconnected illnesses and conditions like:

  • immunodeficiency
  • cancer
  • endometriosis
  • alcoholism
  • severe depression
  • PTSD

Western medicine, which intends to cure illness and minimize pain, often causes more loss, abuse, and suffering for those Americans who don’t fit within the narrow definition of who the system was built to serve—cis, white, heterosexual men. The book explores the many ways in which those receiving medical care are often overlooked, unseen, and doubted by the very clinicians who are supposed to heal them. WHAT’S WRONG? is also a beautiful celebration of nontraditional modes of healing, of how we become whole not because of healthcare but despite it.

About the author

Erin Williams is the author and illustrator of Commute: An Illustrated Memoir of Female Shame and the coauthor and illustrator of How to Take Care: An A-Z Guide of Radical Remedies and the Big Activity Book series. She has more than a decade of experience in data analysis and scientific research. She lives in New York with her spouse, child, and an array of pets.