Gallini reflects in a precise, exact, ruthless but at the same time strong and loving way on old age, on disease, on pain and on the “seduction of dependence” on the people, relatives and carers, who take care of us.
What happens when a woman who has travelled all her life to collect evidence and study people’s behaviour, is forced into a hospital bed? The woman, a great anthropologist, discovers that her will to travel and study is stronger than pain, stronger than physical impediments, than the loving care of relatives and friends, than the obsession of the healthy for the hygiene of the ill... so that the new geography that she explores is her body and its new habits, movements and visions, memory gaps, future obstacles and, last but not least, the prospect of becoming dependent on others.
After investigating Madonnas and seers, apocalypses, miracles and sleepwalkers, Swarovski crosses and pilgrims, Clara Gallini – with the intelligence, humour and patience of the great scholar, and using the tools of anthropology – travels, supported by her trusted caregiver Abilia, in her sick body, bringing back stories, sacred and profane objects and most of all assumptions, with the curiosity and the joy that often accompany new findings.
A powerful, accurate and easy-going book about the disease of our time: the fear of growing old.