I got No Better Than Apples #9 by Kate Larson in the mail today. I started reading it immediately and didn’t put it down until I was done. From the first page, the reader is plunged into a world of pain and medical trauma. There’s also love and hope. But it’s the story of someone losing feeling in their body and getting diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, dealing with doctors and seizures and MRIs and self-injection, what happens physically and emotionally.
I’ve read and written a lot about being different kinds of sick and dealing with western medicine. I have a lot of experience reading and writing about this. And I would have to say about Kate Larson’s work that it doesn’t get better than this. The account is harrowing, yet the speaker is very likable and approachable. It’s dense but not too dense, difficult to take in emotionally, but very readable. I like the pace and the interplay of image and text.
But what I like most is the very artful way Kate Larson leads us into the experience of someone who’s had their world turned upsidedown. It’s deeply personal, and Kate Larson’s desire to include us is generous.
I would encourage anyone who’s been treated by western medicine to get a hold of this zine, anyone who’s known anyone with multiple sclerosis, anyone who has chronic illness and chronic pain, or anyone who just enjoys world-class zines.