Available Now: Marrow Me

Available Now: Marrow Me

MARROW ME: One Man’s Entrance into the Merry World of Multiple Myeloma.


MARROW ME is written with stark beauty and unflinching candor, filled with equal parts grace and horror as a writer at the height of his powers — even while pharmaceutically challenged — shines a light on this increasingly common human condition. Multiple myeloma, a cancer of the blood’s plasma cells, afflicted 488,200 people during 2015 alone; who among us has not been touched in some way by cancer? The course of the disease is brutal, but what sets this memoir apart is Roberts’ ability to slice through the brutality with humor and self-effacement, leaving us with an illness memoir utterly devoid of self-pity that evokes both the 1922 silent film Nosferatu and, at the same time, the humor of The Simpsons. Multiple myeloma’s survival rate is sufficiently low that a diagnosis is typically considered a death sentence. Because Joshua managed to live for twelve years post-diagnosis, he liked to say that for him, it was more like a death paragraph.


Joshua Roberts’ work appeared in HARPER’S, AGNI, the serial anthology PHILLY FICTION, PINDELDYBOZ, EYESHOT, BLUE MESA REVIEW, THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER and other publications, and earned Finalist rankings in the Heekin Group Foundation Fiction Fellowships and the Utah Writers at Work Fellowship Competition, judged by Antonya Nelson. His fiction was workshopped at both the Sewanee and Bread Loaf Writers’ Conferences, with enthusiastic comments from faculty there, John Casey and Antonya Nelson respectively. He died of multiple myeloma at age 56 in June of 2017. His sisters, one of whom is an NP, have added their caregiving insights and perspective to the manuscript.

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