RxISK has just launched a writer’s co-operative – Samizdat-Health and Samizdat House – for non-fiction and fiction publications falling outside the boundaries of the sanctioned conversation on issues thrown up by health.
Launching a new set of imprints like this has become necessary, because publishing about treatment-related difficulties has become increasingly problematic in a risk-averse commercial and even academic publishing climate.
As the provision of medicine and the demand for unfettered access to medical treatments has stepped into the void once reserved for spiritual belief and moral identity, mainstream media and even university publishing houses have become reluctant to go near anything that might suggest that a life consuming the sacraments of modern medicine might not be a recipe for salvation.
Samizdat launched with a manifesto in English, French, and Spanish:
- The Decapitation of Care. A short history of the rise and fall of healthcare.
- La santé décapitée. Brève histoire de l’avènement et de la chute du système de soins
- La decapitación del cuidado. Una breve historia del auge y caída de la atención médica
There are few books published in multiple languages like this, all at the same time. It would be wonderful to break this “triplet record” at some point soon.
There is also a new Samizdat website, which features some early reviews of The Decapitation of Care. The website, like the co-operative, aims at participation. We are looking for reviewers. You do not need to agree with the book’s contents to send in a review. Discussion about some of the trickiest issues in all of our lives is more important than back-slapping.
We are above all looking for authors to join the co-operative, and for translators of books already published or in the pipeline.
Samizdat is not a business. It’s not a place where authors will find their views or work being trimmed or packaged according to data as to what sells. We see ourselves as part of a leaderless movement that seizes tools at our disposal to present unmediated subject matter, including a large community of patients with forbidden questions and survival stories that have not been given a forum.