In the early decades of the twentieth century, millions of people fell ill with encephalitis lethargica, a disease that seemed almost supernatural or like something out of a fairy tale: These people froze. They experienced a suspension of all life and activity, becoming silent, still and comatose, sometimes for decades, though for some there were intermittent sounds or movements. In the 1960s, a drug developed for Parkinson's was given to a group of patients, and in several cases, what seemed like a miraculous remission occurred. Patients woke, laughed, spoke, became themselves again. But the action of the drug was unreliable, and patients were eventually re-entombed in their own... More >>>
Lisa Mumpton, Elgin Kelley and David Fenerty in A Kind of Alaska.