This book is a glimpse into an analysis of complex story construction. It is driven by competing needs and desires, not the least of which are to co-produce a provocative and compelling story. That story is about “stupid deaths,” in this case from rabies, governmental prejudice and structural violence, indigenous families’ and health practitioners’ rational and good-faith attempts to heal their dying children, and the need for protecting those not yet infected by a disease that remained undiagnosed for too long. Most intriguing is the effort to understand the political, historical, and emotional layers that contribute to the reasons that the disease, initially provided a “provisional diagnosis” by physician and coauthor Clara Mantini-Briggs, was never officially recognized by the national government.

As the authors note, “Our focus is on recounting the ways that, in the midst of a worse-case scenario, people came...

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