We talk with physician and activist Rupa Marya and her co-author writer and food activist Raj Patel about their book, Inflamed: Deep Medicine and the Anatomy of Injustice.
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Raj Patel & Rupa Marya
If there’s anything the COVID19 pandemic has taught us, it’s that social and economic injustice leads to differences in which groups die more from a deadly infectious disease.
But it’s not just COVID. People who are more stressed by poverty and discrimination, succumb at higher rates to illness and early death.
That’s because stress begets inflammation in the body. And inflammation begets all kinds of ills, like cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
But it’s not just our bodies. The whole planet is inflamed. In their book Inflamed, Rupa Marya and Raj Patel draw a link between the body, as both metaphor and exemplar of inflammation, to climate change.
They say that inflammation is a biological, social, economic, and ecological pathway. All these pathways intersect in a manner constructed by the modern capitalist system.
Raj Patel is the New York Times bestselling author of The Value of Nothing, Stuffed and Starved and other books. Rupa Marya is a physician, activist, and co-founder of the Do No Harm Coalition.
Singer Jimmie Allen is a rising star in the country music field. He’s also one of the few Black musicians to attain such fame in a genre largely dominated by white musicians. Clearly, he’s used to using his voice to good effect.
Now, he’s come out with a charming book for kids with an important message about using one’s voice to make change for good in the world.
His book, My Voice is a Trumpet is a celebration of the many types of voices that can create change, from voices “tall as a tree,” to voices “small as a bee.”
The book is for younger children. It is beautifully illustrated by Cathy Ann Johnson.
Book Recommendation: Monster In The Water
Speaking of new books for young children, another one that crossed our desk recently is Monster in the Water.
It’s about a “monster” that’s in a lot of water bodies these days: harmful algal blooms. They sicken and kill pets, close beaches and shut down shellfish harvests.
Monster in the Water is written by sixteen year old Dylan D’Agate, who lives on Long Island. On his website, beatthebloom.com, he writes:
While water is used for many different purposes in our everyday lives, it shouldn’t be taken for granted. Because water is one of Earth’s most precious natural resources, it should be protected and respected.
Harmful algal blooms have become a growing environmental problem, causing devastation to my community and communities around the world. I wrote Monster in the Water: Fighting Back Against Harmful Algal Blooms to raise awareness about this important issue and encourage young people to take action.
The story is about the children of Seaville who get a nasty surprise when they go to the beach and find it closed. They enlist the help of an environmental scientist to tell them what’s going on and why. They also find out how they and their families can help stop harmful algal blooms.
Written by a kid for kids, this is a great book to share with the children in your life.
Next week on Writer’s Voice, two novels about World War Two from a very different perspective than the usual. We talk with Jai Chakrabarti about his novel A Play For The End Of The World. Then Caroline Lea tells us about her novel The Metal Heart.