Winner of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction, If the Body
Allows It is divided into six parts and framed by the story of
Marie, a woman in her thirties living in Newark, New Jersey.
Suffering from a chronic autoimmune illness, she also struggles
with guilt over the overdose and death of her father, whom she
feels she betrayed at the end of his life. The stories within the
frame—about failed marriages, places of isolation and protection,
teenage mistakes, and forging a life in the aftermath—are the
stories the narrator writes after she meets and falls in love with
a man whose grief mirrors her own. If the Body Allows It explores
illness and its aftermath, guilt and addiction, and the
relationships the characters form after they've lost everyone else,
including themselves. Introspective, devastating, and funny, If the
Body Allows It grapples with the idea that life is always on the
brink of never being the same again.