In How Does It Hurt?, acclaimed poet and biographer Stephanie de Montalk tells the story of the chronic pain that has invaded her life for more than 10 years. She considers how her early experiences have been cast into fresh relief by what she has endured, then goes back in time to investigate the lives and works of three writers who also lived with and wrote about pain: “the consolator,” English social theorist Harriet Martineau (1802-1876), “the vendor of happiness,” French novelist Alphonse Daudet (1840-1897), and “the imago,” Polish poet Aleksander Wat (1900-1967). Through these explorations de Montalk confronts the paradox of writing about suffering: where we can turn when the pain is beyond words? A unique blend of memoir, imaginative biography, and poetry, How Does It Hurt? is a groundbreaking contribution to the understanding of chronic pain and a spellbinding literary achievement.