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“Cost of Living” Presented by the Center for Bioethics & Health Law

February 28, 2022 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm EST

With the health, well-being, and comfort of all as our top priorities, City of Asylum requires that our staff, artists, and all those attending an event be fully vaccinated. Please click here to learn more about our Covid 19 policies.

What does it cost to live?

When we fall ill, our lives are itemized on a spreadsheet. A thousand dollars for a broken leg, a few hundred for a nasty cut. Then there are the greater costs for even greater misfortunes. The car accidents, breast cancers, blood diseases, and dark depressions.

In her early career, Emily Maloney worked as an emergency room technician: a job undertaken to pay off the crippling medical debt brought about by years spent in and out of hospitals and doctor’s offices while grappling with life-changing depression.  Doing the grunt work in a hospital, and taking care of patients at their most vulnerable moments, Emily chronicles her interactions and offers  a brilliant examination of just what exactly our troubled healthcare system asks us to pay.

Emily joins us live to read and discuss her work, in conversation with Peter Trachtenberg Associate Professor in the writing center at the University of Pittsburgh.

This program is in partnership with the Center for Bioethics & Health Law at the University of Pittsburgh. It’s presented in connection to the Center’s new visual art exhibition Experience, Integration, Expression: The Work of Norman Klenicki. The exhibit explores themes of intergenerational trauma and struggles with mental health, and how we can understand the inexplicable and the unspeakable through artistic free expression.

The exhibit is on free virtual display here:  http://nkexhibit.com/

Featured Artists: 
Emily Maloney’s work has appeared in Glamour, Virginia Quarterly Review, Best American Essays, and the American Journal of Nursing, among others. She has worked as a dog groomer, pastry chef, general contractor, tile setter, and catalog model and sold her ceramics at art fairs. She has twice been awarded a MacDowell Fellowship and lives in Evanston, Illinois.

Peter Trachtenberg is the author of 7 Tattoos, The Book of Calamities, and Another Insane Devotion, a 2012 New York Times Editors’ Choice. His essays, journalism, and short fiction have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, A Public Space, Bidoun, and The New York Times’ travel magazine, with work forthcoming in The Virginia Quarterly Review and Story Quarterly. His honors include the Whiting Award, the Nelson Algren Award for Short Fiction, a Guggenheim fellowship, and a residency at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center.

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February 28, 2022
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm EST
Program Category:


City of Asylum
(412) 435-1110
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Pittsburgh, PA 15212 United States
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