The Healing Circle

A mother abandons her family in California to pursue a miracle cure in Munich. Once she gets there however, she wonders if she might have already died. Bedridden with a terminal diagnosis, memories, nurses, immoral doctors, foreign television broadcasts, and phone calls from children intrude upon her consciousness. An aloe plant called Madame Blavatsky is her primary companion.


 “The Healing Circle is a far-reaching, honest, and funny novel about dying and living, a kind of pilgrimage to wholeness through uncertainty and disorientation. Full of resonance, it asks what it means to heal, to be in pain, to be a person.”

Amina Cain, author of Indelicacy

The Healing Circle is wry, subtle, and daring. Coco Picard has written a vivid novel about living, dying, and remembering.”

Meg Wolitzer, author of The Female Persuasion

Black and white illsutration of the backside of a nude woman atop a hill with two trees seemingly growing horizontally out of her. Yellow text reads "The Healing Circle, a novel by Coco Picard" with an award seal declaring the book "Winner of the Red Hen Press Women's Prose Award"

Coco Picard ( Author Website )

Publication Date: August 16, 2022

Genre/Imprint: Fiction

$17.95 Tradepaper

Shop: Red Hen, Bookshop, Barnes & Noble

ISBN: 9781636280516

Download the Press Kit Here


Conversations Between Friends: COCO PICARD and Sue Mell in Craft

Consider the personal effects one leaves behind, the way those objects, once laid out, recall the idiosyncratic logic of a life—is there more compelling inspiration for a novel? Authors Coco Picard and Sue Mell met through the BookEnds SUNY alumni group months before their debut novels came out. They couldn’t stop talking about books and art—and the […]

THE HEALING CIRCLE author Coco Picard talks mushrooms, “The Devil Wears Prada,” and capitalism in Daily Beast essay

My Instagram feed is currently riddled with mushroom advertisements. A mushroom beverage exceeds coffee for focus and health benefits! Mushroom face serums provide youthful, plump-celled, and small-pored complexions! Another mushroom supplement rivals Xanax! To say nothing of the anti-dementia mushrooms, cancer-fighting mushrooms, gut-health mushrooms, and luxury magic mushroom retreats! In 2022, The New York Times named mushrooms the “ingredient […]

Coco Picard discusses THE HEALING CIRCLE in HenLitCentral Interview

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your published book (s).I am a writer, cartoonist, and curator. I started the Green Lantern Press, a non-profit art space and publisher in Chicago and ran it for about seventeen years. It’s a great city—the art and lit community is warm, supportive, and brilliant. A great tradition […]

Coco Picard’s THE HEALING CIRCLE included in Chicago Reader’s list of recommendations!

Hopefully you’ve been following our recent comics journalism pieces on art and artists created by Reader contributor and former Chicagoan Coco Picard (her latest, an interview with artist and professor Nick Cave, was in our August 18 issue). If you’re intrigued by Picard’s comics style, check out her debut novel The Healing Circle, a magical tale including a terminal diagnosis, motherhood, […]

THE HEALING CIRCLE author Coco Picard recommends books with plants as characters in LitHub essay

“In Learning to Live (Aprendendo a Viver), Clarice Lispector calls for ‘patience to observe the flowers, imperceptibly and slowly opening.” As plant philosopher Michael Marder points out in his essay, “Lispector and the Seeds of Time,” Lispector calls for a type of patience that would make one still enough to observe a plant’s movement: ‘Patience, tying together the […]

Coco Picard shares a playlist for her novel THE HEALING CIRCLE in largehearted boy!

“My novel, The Healing Circle, follows Ursula, whose terminal disease makes her leave family and friends in California—friends who share her penchant for New Age remedies—for a miracle cure in Germany. The book takes place in her hospital room. Sitting on the window ledge, an aloe plant called Madame Blavatsky is Ursula’s main companion. The book […]



HOPE, WHEN HELD past the point of reason, is liable to transform into a certain kind of absurdity. Over the course of The Healing Circle — the latest novel from writer, artist, and curator Coco Picard — a woman and her loved ones walk the narrow line between hope and delusion as she battles cancer. The Healing […]