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The introduction lays out the central contradictions of cure: cure saves lives, manipulates lives, prioritizes lives, makes profits, justifies violence, and promises resolution to body and mind loss. These tensions are called a knot, and the structure of the book is likened to a mosaic that places psychiatric hospitalization next to environmental destruction next to resistance next to joy next to community connection next to an analysis of racist and ableist hate language, to name a few of the topics. Each short piece in the book is a fragment of the bigger whole about cure and its core contradictions. Cure is characterized as slippery, appearing in both likely and unlikely places.

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