Labar Laskie’s graphic memoir Above the Din begins the day she takes her first pills – Sovaldi + Olysio – the cure for her chronic hepatitis C. Drawing from old diary entries, news articles, and her own research, she recounts a 15-year odyssey from her 1999 diagnosis to “wonder drug” treatment in 2014. It’s a narrative map of madcap adventures through alternative treatments, extreme sports, and personal crises. Funny and poignant, it’s also an accessible treatise on hepatitis C, its causes, symptoms, treatments – and the threat it still poses to millions of people worldwide. Lona Powell’s illustrations bring the whole story to colorful life. A must-read for those with chronic illness (of any type), clinicians, and lovers of memoir.
I had been clean and sober for fifteen years when I learned that my liver was engulfed in chronic, active, degenerative liver disease – and not due to my alcoholism. I was infected with the Hepatitis C virus.
In any case, the irony didn’t go unnoticed – that I had not had a drink in years and would probably die of liver disease. I was pissed as hell that I’d missed the party.”