An extraordinary personal journey through cancer and treatment.
"...Extraordinary...Its bravery, irony, humour and intelligence - everything shines through the transparent prose...a remarkable literary voice, or melding of three voices--the autobiographical, the poetic, and the allegorical." - Dr. Oliver Sacks
"The life of an individual is as complex as a maze of reflecting mirrors. The life of a family is even more so." Doris Brett is an award-winning writer and poet. 'I forget who said that the prospect of impending death concentrates the mind wonderfully . . . clarifying is the word I keep thinking of. But this is not the clarifying of a mist gently evaporating to reveal answers. This is the clarifying of paint-stripper; a solvent that stings and burns with its harshness, but reveals what was truly there all the time.'
When Doris Brett was diagnosed with cancer several years ago, she began writing a private journal - a traveller's diary through a life-threatening illness. The journal, however, rapidly grew into something much more than that. Cancer became the catalyst for an inner journey - a journey through self. Evocatively told via three voices - the diarist, the poet, and the voice of fairytale and myth - this memoir explores the intricate dynamics of family, truth and memory.
Poignant and compelling, Eating the Underworld is a sharply observed, often unexpectedly funny book about change, transformation and the constant renewal of self throughout our lives. 'As with any descent into a feared and terrifying country - whether it is the country of illness or the country of a grieving heart - we have entered the underworld. And we have eaten of its fruit . . . the knowledge of ourselves, the knowledge of others. We cannot remain unchanged.