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Powell's Books Presents Daisy Hernández in Conversation With Amy Stewart
Growing up in a New Jersey factory town in the 1980s, Daisy Hernández believed that her aunt had become deathly ill from eating an apple. No one in her family, in either the United States or Colombia, spoke of infectious diseases, and even into her thirties, she only knew that her aunt had died of a rare illness called Chagas. But as Hernández dug deeper, she discovered that Chagas — or the kissing bug disease — is more prevalent in the United States than the Zika virus. Today, more than 300,000 Americans have Chagas. Why do some infectious diseases make headlines and others fall by the wayside? After her aunt’s death, Hernández begins searching for answers about who our nation chooses to take care of and who we ignore. Crisscrossing the country, she interviews patients, epidemiologists, and even veterinarians with the Department of Defense. Hernández’s The Kissing Bug (Tin House) tells the story of how poverty, racism, and public policies have conspired to keep this disease hidden — and how the disease intersects with Hernández’s own identity as a niece, sister, and daughter; a queer woman; a writer and researcher; and a citizen of a country that is only beginning to address the harms caused by Chagas, and the dangers it poses. A riveting and nuanced investigation into racial politics and for-profit healthcare in the United States, The Kissing Bug reveals the intimate history of a marginalized disease and connects us to the lives at the center of it all. Hernández will be joined in conversation by Amy Stewart, author of the Kopp Sisters series and The Drunken Botanist.

Jun 15, 2021 05:00 PM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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Speakers

Daisy Hernández
Daisy Hernández is a former reporter for The New York Times and has been writing about the intersections of race, immigration, class, and sexuality for almost two decades. Her most recent book is The Kissing Bug: A True Story of a Family, an Insect, and a Nation's Neglect of a Deadly Disease. She has written for National Geographic, NPR’s All Things Considered and Code Switch, The Atlantic, Slate, and Guernica, and she’s the former editor of Colorlines, a newsmagazine on race and politics. Hernández is the author of the award-winning memoir A Cup of Water Under My Bed and co-editor of Colonize This! Young Women of Color on Today’s Feminism. She is an associate professor at Miami University in Ohio.
Amy Stewart
Amy Stewart is the New York Times best-selling author of the Kopp Sisters series, which are based on the true story of one of America’s first female deputy sheriffs and her two rambunctious sisters. Her popular nonfiction titles include The Drunken Botanist, Wicked Plants, and Flower Confidential. Her books have sold over a million copies worldwide and have been translated into 17 languages. She lives in Portland.