If a novelist were to have his protagonist reading Camus’ The Plague mere hours before learning that his wife has cancer, the irony would be cheap, a postmodernist Henny Youngman joke. Yet I was indeed reading The Plague on the day I learned that Margaret, my wife, had two brain tumors.
It was not entirely by coincidence that I was rereading a novel I’d first read at eighteen, when my father was dying from cancer...
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