About the book…

A landmark exploration of one of the most consequential and mysterious issues of our time: the rise of chronic illness and autoimmune diseases

A silent epidemic of chronic illnesses afflicts tens of millions of Americans: these are diseases that are poorly understood, frequently marginalized, and can go undiagnosed and unrecognized altogether. Renowned writer Meghan O’Rourke delivers a revelatory investigation into this elusive category of “invisible” illness that encompasses autoimmune diseases, post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome, and now long COVID, synthesizing the personal and the universal to help all of us through this new frontier.

Drawing on her own medical experiences as well as a decade of interviews with doctors, patients, researchers, and public health experts, O’Rourke traces the history of Western definitions of illness, and reveals how inherited ideas of cause, diagnosis, and treatment have led us to ignore a host of hard-to-understand medical conditions, ones that resist easy description or simple cures. And as America faces this health crisis of extraordinary proportions, the populations most likely to be neglected by our institutions include women, the working class, and people of color.

Blending lyricism and erudition, candor and empathy, O’Rourke brings together her deep and disparate talents and roles as critic, journalist, poet, teacher, and patient, synthesizing the personal and universal into one monumental project arguing for a seismic shift in our approach to disease. The Invisible Kingdom offers hope for the sick, solace and insight for their loved ones, and a radical new understanding of our bodies and our health.

Praise for The Invisible Kingdom…

Named one of the most anticipated books of 2022 by the Lit Up podcast, Kirkus, Oprah Daily, Vogue, Lit Hub, and more. 

“Meghan O’Rourke has written a call to arms in the fight for compassionate healthcare. The Invisible Kingdom: Reimagining Chronic Illness is both an examination of what ails medicine and a manifesto. [It’s] a medical detective story with the drama and style of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. O’Rourke’s book has ignited a necessary conversation, proving the pen to be as mighty as the stethoscope. ” 
—Hamilton Cain, Oprah Daily 

“Meghan O’Rourke’s book is a searing and thoroughly researched exploration of the pain and confusion that many of them go through in their quest to have their health issues taken seriously by the medical establishment—and, often, the world at large.” 
“O’Rourke’s book has ignited a necessary conversation, proving the pen to be as mighty as the stethoscope.”  —Oprah Magazine

“An affecting portrayal of how we view disease, experience illness, and search for healing.”  —Tony Miksanek, Booklist




Barnes & noble

penguin random house



The Invisible Kingdom: Reimagining Chronic Illness (2022)

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New York Times Bestselling Book

About the book…

What does it mean to mourn in a culture that is uncomfortable with grief? And how do we make space for loss, especially as America grapples with the tragedy of the COVID-19 pandemic? Here, Meghan offers a transcendent portrait of the enduring power of familial love—and the true meaning of why we grieve.

Praise for The Long Goodbye…

 “Most Moving Book of 2011.” —O, The Oprah Magazine
“A tour de force.”  —The New York Review of Books
"A beautiful memoir about a daughter's love for her mother." —The Paris Review

"Anguished, beautifully written... The Long Goodbye is an elegiac depiction of drama as old as life." —The New York Times Book Review

The Long Goodbye (2011)



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About the book…

A powerful collection of poems about the frailty of the body, the longing for a child, and the philosophical questions raised when the body goes dramatically awry. These formally ambitious poems and lyric essays give voice to the experience of illness, the permanence of loss, and invigorating moments of grace.

Praise for Sun in Days…

Named a “Best Poetry Book” of 2017 by The New York Times.

“Ambitious and moving.” —The Rumpus

Sun in Days (2017)



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About the book…

The incandescent poems in Once, the second collection by an astonishing and formidable poet, explore loss, illness, and grief with luminous clarity. These poems are for anyone who has ever lost someone they loved.

Praise for Once...

“One of 2011’s Best Books.”  —L Magazine

“Accessible yet sharp-edged…a moving exploration of loss and redemption.”
Publishers Weekly (“One of Fall’s 10 Most Notable Poetry Books”)

Once (2013)



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About the book…

Meghan’s debut collection of poetry. The insomniac speakers in Halflife are coming of age in a mythical world full of threat and promise. Seeking their true selves amid the fallen cathedrals of America, they speak wryly of destructive love affairs, aesthetic obsession, and encroaching war, but refuse to abandon the power of imagination.

Praise for Halflife...

“Magnificent.” —The New York Times Book Review

“The first collection from O’Rourke…displays a playful, energetic intelligence, varied aesthetics and a welcome self-possession.”  —Publishers Weekly

 A finalist for the Forward First Book Prize and the Patterson Poetry Prize.

Halflife (2007)



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Bestselling author, acclaimed editor, and speaker, exploring health, illness, grief, and social psychology, with the goal of helping people think and feel better.