The State of Me

Front Cover
Friday Fiction, 2008 - Myalgic encephalomyelitis - 500 pages

A beautifully written debut novel by an exciting new author.

Curriculum Vitae

Name: Helen Fleet

Work Experience: Waitress; Serial volunteer

Education: Four Highers: French (A), English (A), Maths (A), Chemistry (A), 1981; Ordinary Arts degree, MA, 1990; Certificate in Counselling Skills and Theory, 1992

Travel: France, Madeira, San Francisco, Rome, Greece. And London.

Relationships: Sex with three men: Hadi, Ivan and Fabio. I still love Ivan.

Additional Information: I have a mini hi-fi and a pine bookcase, and an expensive leather briefcase (got it in the January sales after Fabio and I had finished) and a suit I haven't worn since my graduation.

It's 1983 and 20-year-old university student Helen Fleet should be enjoying the best days of her life, but while all her friends go on to graduate and have careers in London, she is forced to return to her parents' home, bedridden with vile symptoms that doctors can't explain and often don't believe. She is eventually diagnosed with M.E., a cruel illness that she must learn to live with over the next decade. All of her relationships are tested - and changed - by her condition, but Helen's story is so much more than an account of her suffering. At times sad and at times funny, the author skillfully leads the reader through the trials and tribulations of Helen's life, perfectly capturing her unusual experiences as a twenty-something woman living in 80s Scotland with a mystery illness.

Based on the author's own experience of ME The State of Me explores the loneliness and chaos of one of the most misunderstood illnesses of our time, but also celebrates the importance of family, friendships, and sexual love.

A stunning, eloquent and linguistically perfect debut novel.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Kanikoski - LibraryThing

An excellent read. For me, even though the main theme is one character's illness, this is a novel with much more to say about life. In observing the details of day-to-day existence, the wit is sharp ... Read full review

Review: The State Of Me

User Review  - Denyse (DJ) - Goodreads

Somehow, as I read this painful story about a victim of myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), Nasmin managed to wrap her words around me and whisk me away on a merry dance. Almost against my will I realised ... Read full review

Contents

Part One 1 A Lime and a Sofa Bed 1998
1
Rita and Nab
6
Before
10
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

Nasim Marie Jafry was born in the west of Scotland in 1963 to a Scottish mother and Pakistani father. She has an MA and MSc from Glasgow University but her studies were severely disrupted when she became ill with M.E. She has lived in San Francisco and currently lives in Edinburgh. Her short stories have appeared in various publications. The State of Me is her first novel.

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