Single mother Anne Boyer, reliant on pay check when rough breast cancer strikes, shows what a real poet/essayist can do in the illness memoir field. “The Undying: A Meditation on Modern Illness” is an unrelenting, frank, intelligent examination of the experience and the modern culture and milieu of cancer. Boyer references today’s bloggers and ancient texts, she rages against the pain even as she takes it on, and she angles her camera in every way imaginable. I found myself swept along, sometimes nonplussed by the erudition but mostly admiring the prose. Our landscape of pain and death fascinates me (of course it terrifies even more) and I basked in this read. Recommended.