Rebecca Dimyan, author of “Chronic,” to speak at Keeler Library


Image courtesy of Rebecca Dimyan

When Rebecca Dimyan first submitted her book manuscript to an agent for consideration, she was told it probably wouldn’t sell. The suggestion was that people wouldn’t want to read about a woman’s experience with endometriosis, a chronic disease that impacts approximately 1 in 10 women worldwide.

For Dimyan, the rejection was just one more dismissal in her endometriosis journey. She had, in part, written the book as a way to work through her own frustrations about having navigated a medical community that was by turns dismissive or ineffective at helping her manage her illness.

“There’s a lot of medical gaslighting we encounter,” Dimyan said. “Getting doctors to take our pain seriously is something women have dealt with for a very long time.”

Dimyan, with the support of mentors, eventually did find a publisher who saw a market for Dimyan’s book. Independent Woodhall Press, based in Norwalk, Connecticut, released “Chronic” in June. The book explores the ways in which endometriosis impacted Dimyan's experiences, her body, her pain and her joy.

“There’s a certain stigma attached to talking about health issues. We’ve become better as a society, but there’s still a stigma attached that we need to fight,” Dimyan said.

On Wednesday evening, Dimyan will do her part to reduce the sigma at an author talk at the Ruth Keeler Memorial Library in North Salem. There, she will read an excerpt from “Chronic” before talking about her process of writing the book and hosting a question and answer session. “I would love to have [the talk] be more interactive. I want to make sure everyone leaves feeling like they’ve had all their questions answered,” Dimyan said.

Dimyan said that early readers of her book have praised her candor. “The common response I get is that it’s very brave. I am pretty candid about a lot of personal, intimate details about my life, experiences,” she said. “A lot more people connect with your work when you drop the BS.”

Dimyan said that by sharing her personal experiences, she can help fellow sufferers–whether of endometriosis or other chronic diseases–feel less alone. 

“Going through a medical challenge or crisis can be very lonely,” Dimyan said. “I want people to know that a person is out there who understands and gets it.”

Rebecca Dimyan will host an in-person author talk at the Ruth Keeler Memorial Library in North Salem on Wednesday, July 26 from 7:00 - 8:00 p.m.

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