Reviews | June 01, 2008

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But writers such as Mairs and Knapp and Dubus make a subject of their afflictions and return to that subject. I have called them “agonists” because they seem to embody all of the original meanings of the Greek word that came down to us as agony: the struggle, the public contest, the anguish. These writers are performing their struggle with suffering; by writing they make public the pain that is ordinarily invisible and always located within the single self.

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