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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.
Elizabeth Anne Wood is a SUNY Chancellors Award-winning Professor of Sociology 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 Ph.D. at Brandeis University in 1999 for a study of gender, power, and social interaction in strip clubs, and has written critically about sexuality and society ever since.
Her first book, Bound: A Daughter, A Domme, and an End-of-Life Story, (due out in fall 2019 with She Writes Press) uses the transformative power of personal story-telling to expand the space for conversations between parents and their adult children, between caregivers and those who need them, and between health care providers and patients about the two things we still have such trouble discussing plainly: sex and death. These are not gratuitous conversations. The quality of life, and the quality of death, we can expect as we age depends on them. Born on an Army base in Kentucky, she 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.