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Countway Reads: Bipolar Bear

Countway Reads: Bipolar Bear In-Person

Join us for an in-person Countway Reads book discussion!

About the event: 

Storytelling is at the heart of medical and public health practice and Countway Library is here to help foster this tradition. Our Countway Reads initiative invites the community to read and learn together by engaging with creative works by people from all walks of life. 

For this edition of Countway Reads, we are reading Bipolar Bear, which tackles the complicated, politically and emotional charged experiences of navigating the US health care system. Experiences like those in this comic are vital to emerging and current practitioners, not only for the sake of their patients, but for the sake of their own understanding of the roles they (you, we) play in this complex web of systems that patients must navigate, often while living through the worst experiences of their lives.

These book discussions, held each semester, are open to all Harvard ID holders and facilitated by Countway Library librarians. Light refreshments will be provided. Registration is limited, so sign up early!

About the book:

Bipolar Bear and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Health Insurance: A Fable for Grownups by Kathleen Founds

Theodore is a bear with wild mood swings. When he is up, he carves epic poetry into tree trunks. When he is down, he paints sad faces on rocks and turtle shells. In search of prescription medications that will bring stability to his life, Theodore finds a job with health insurance benefits. He gets the meds, but when he can’t pay the psychiatrist’s bill, he becomes lost in the Labyrinth of Health Insurance Claims.

This witty and colorful tale follows the comical exploits of Theodore, a lovable and relatable bear, as he copes with bipolar disorder, navigates the inequities of capitalist society, founds a commune, and becomes an activist, all the while accompanied by a memorable cast of characters―fat-cat insurance CEOs, a wrongfully convicted snake, raccoons with tommy guns, and an unemployed old dog who cannot learn new tricks.

Entertaining, whimsical, and bitingly satirical, Bipolar Bear is a fable for grownups that manages the delicate balance of addressing society’s ills while simultaneously presenting a hopeful vision for the world.

About the factilitator:

Countway Reads is faciliated by Countway's Lead Collection & Knowledge Management Librarian, Matthew Noe. Matthew is a world-renowned expert on graphic medicine and is an advocate for the importance of reading for not just information, but for enjoyment and community, at all levels of education. Find out more about Matthew on his Harvard Library staff page and learn more about graphic medicine on Countway's Graphic Medicine landing page.

Learn more about the Countway Reads initiative at countway.info/reads.

Tuesday, April 23, 2024
12:30pm - 1:45pm
Time Zone:
Eastern Time - US & Canada (change)
Countway Floor 1: Room 102
Campus Location:
Harvard Longwood Campus

Registration is required. There are 12 seats available.

Event Organizer

Matthew Noe
Yasmina Kamal

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