A Juxtaposition that Speaks for Itself
Fog This Morning

Steingraber in the Second Person

Sandra Steingraber's Living Downstream: A Scientist's Personal Investigation of Cancer and the Environment came in the mail today. I've only just begun to read it. But there's a passage I can't resist quoting right away because of Steingraber's sheer mastery of craft:

Like a jury's verdict or an adoption decree, a cancer diagnosis is an authoritative pronouncement, one with the power to change your identity. I sends you into an unfamiliar country where all the rules of human conduct are alien. In this new territory, you disrobe in front of strangers who are allowed to touch you. You submit to bodily invasions. You agree to the removal of body parts. You agree to be poisoned. You have become a cancer patient.

This is what writing in the second person is for.