Narrative Medicine Book Club: Passing, Following up on Week 4

Derek: This description of Clare makes me appreciate even more her power of presence and sense of agency. Even though passing for white was her survival tactic, it hinges on her social capital as well. The paradox of her being among them yet “someone apart” captures her duality perfectly.  

Carmen: This passage captured me as well. It, like many other passages in this work, alludes to a passing of a different nature, outside of color, and points to a “passing” of her performative personality, one who appears engaged but is not. I wonder if she can articulate who she really is or accept and engage with her multiple identities – of her skin and her mind.

For this final week (Week 5), May 10th-15th, we’re finishing the book with the Finale!

We look forward to seeing you all on Zoom this Saturday at 11:00 a.m. EDT. We will be having our final live discussion of the book, including our thoughts on the final pages and the book as a whole! 

If you don’t already have your copy, books can be purchased from the publisher, direct from your local indie bookstore, or through or If you want to join in the book club discussion, you can respond here or on social media using #NMBookClub.

2 thoughts on “Narrative Medicine Book Club: Passing, Following up on Week 4

  1. Ellen Goldklang

    The ending was similar to Rod Serling’s (Twilight Zone). 4 possibilities to consider regarding Claire’s death-accidental, suicide, Irene’s doing, or Claire’s husband, John Bellow. Cliffhanger for sure.


  2. Patricia D.

    There were clues all along that this would not end well. Upon the first reading I suspected her nasty husband in Clair’s death; While she may have committed suicide, it never occurred to me that Irene could go from wishing for her death to precipitating it. What a wonderful discussion. I cannot wait for the next book club meeting. Thank you for your generosity.


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