Don't Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from an Allergic Life

Sandra Beasley, Author
Sandra Beasley. Crown, $23 (240p) ISBN 978-0-307-58811-1
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-299-15000-3
Paperback - 240 pages - 978-0-307-58812-8
Open Ebook - 121 pages - 978-0-307-58813-5
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In this intelligent and witty memoir, poet Beasley (I Was the Jukebox) recounts her lifelong struggle to live a normal life while waging a battle against deadly food allergies. The author is one of "more than 12 million Americans who have been diagnosed with food allergies, a figure that includes almost 4% of all children." The title of this enthralling book is not hyperbole. As little as a kiss or hug from a family member or a friend who had eaten cake or ice cream at a birthday party could cause Beasley to break out in hives or, worse, suffer anaphylactic shock. She calls sherbet "sweet, icy death in a bowl." Beasley details her vigilant parents' never-ending routine for keeping her safe during her childhood until she left for college, how she and her friends coped with "the thousand minor hassles of living with" her food allergies during college, and the perils of eating while traveling. Throughout this thoughtful and well-written book, Beasley closes the knowledge gap surrounding food allergies. She writes entertainingly about the history of allergies, and current research findings; religious issues surrounding food allergies; and processed foods and their hidden ingredients. (June)
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