The premise of the book is that while millions of men suffer from heart disease, the effect of the illness on the wife or partner is often overlooked, and then impact on the relationship can be significant. The book is a timely publication given that, in the U.S. February is American Heart Month
Looking at this issue from the perspective of the husband, Thomas Larson
has written a book titled 'In The Sanctuary of Illness: A Memoir of Heart Disease
'. In the book, Larson offers an intimate glimpse into how his heart disease redefined his relationship with his long-time partner, Suzanna. He also provides a look into some of the greatest fears and insecurities that many men with heart disease often bear in silence.
Larson, aged 56, has suffered three heart attacks in five years. His memoir reveals the invaluable role Suzanna played in his healing and how the illness transformed them as a couple. Some of the issues covered are what women should know about heart disease, and how it can affect a man’s self-perception. Another theme is how working toward health can bring a couple closer together than ever.
Reviewing the book, Madeleine Blais, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, noted
: "Written in the tradition of Sherwin Nuland and Anatole Broyard, Thomas Larson’s The Sanctuary of Illness is both a meditation on mortality and a call to arms in the face of the inevitable. By turns defiant, humorous, earthy, and literary, the work is a felicitous mix of memoir and reporting: the heart as a pulsing source of both truth and fact."
Thomas Larson has been a staff writer for the San Diego Reader for fifteen years. His other books include 'The Memoir and the Memoirist' and 'The Saddest Music Ever Written: The Story of Samuel Barber’s “Adagio for Strings”'. He teaches in creative nonfiction
at Ashland University in Ohio and holds workshops on memoir and writing about illness throughout the U.S.
The book has been published by Hudson Whitman/ Excelsior College Press, January 2014.