So how does it go when your bestie is asked by Scholastic, Arthur A. Levine Books, to write a story of a teen living a sun-limited life when you yourself, a YA author, have lupus? How is it for your award-winning YA author bestie who has walked beside you in the dark for years to write the work?
It is strange. Justina Chen has completed the beautiful Lovely, Dark, and Deep while I am working on my own memoir which will share life with multiple autoimmune diseases, including lupus. As Justina's book launches, I have not yet begun to write a YA novel featuring the journey of a teen with lupus, or RA, or Sjogren's. I'm still living the experiences and gathering meaning, but I wholeheartedly celebrate Justina's work. Here are four quotes I gathered while thinking through the experience:
With rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and Sjogren’s syndrome among my autoimmune diseases, I am not defined by them, not denying, praising, or damning them. I am here looking for light and being filled.
I hope the beautiful Lovely,Dark, and Deep shines into the darkest corridors readers pass through.
As I complete my memoir, it was fascinating to have Justina, who has walked so lovingly and faithfully beside me in the dark, write about a teen adjusting to a sun-limited life. Justina is Zoe Washburne to my River Tam.
It is imperative health care is available to all. Medications for autoimmune disease have exorbitant costs. Prices can prevent one from living and contributing to society with full potential. We can’t leave anyone in the dark alone.
Godspeed to Lovely, Dark, and Deep. May it alight in the hands of beloved readers and spark.
"A luminous read that will rekindle your faith in the indomitable human spirit." -- Matthew Quick, author of The Silver Linings Playbook
by Justina Chen
Arthur A. Levine Books, July 31, 2018