top of page

Jake Goldsmith is an author with cystic fibrosis and a list of other chronic health conditions. He lives in Suffolk, England.

His writing mainly focuses on the phenomenology of illness, intellectual history, philosophy, and how illness defines one’s experiences.

His memoir Neither Weak Nor Obtuse was originally published in 2019 and explores Jake's literary and philosophical influences, as well as the perceptions and realities of living with a life-limiting chronic illness.

The title of the book comes from a phrase within a letter Boris Pasternak sent to Albert Camus in 1957, stating that while there may not be anything beyond ‘sensualism’, a sensualism that is completely naked and extreme becomes weak and obtuse. This limitation is explored in Jake’s work.

A new edition of Neither Weak Nor Obtuse was published by Sagging Meniscus Press in July 2022. You can order it here























A collection of short essays titled In Hospital Environments: Essays on Illness & Philosophy, featuring illustrations by Wend Rend, was published in May 2024.























Some of Jake's main intellectual influences include Svetlana Alexievich, Raymond Aron, W.N.P. Barbellion, Albert Camus, Michel de Montaigne, La Rochefoucauld, Manès Sperber, Bernard Williams, and Simone Weil.

Jake is the founder and director of The Barbellion Prize, an international book prize for ill and disabled authors.

More From Jake:

Jake wrote an epistolary essay while admitted to Royal Papworth Hospital in May 2021; published in Issue No. 2 of the quarterly magazine Exacting ClamFrom Royal Papworth Hospital.

Jake's brief essay On Illness and Possibility was published in Issue No. 3 of Exacting Clam, Winter 2021.

Disabled Thoughts was published in Issue No. 5 of Exacting Clam.

Spurious Thoughts was published in Issue No. 7 of Exacting Clam.

Yet More Thoughts was published in Issue No. 9 of Exacting Clam.

A Brief Note on the Use of Aronian Liberalism was published in Issue No. 10 of Exacting Clam.

Distrust and Expertise — A Brief Note was published in Issue No. 11 of Exacting Clam.

Words and Clarity was published in Issue No. 13 of Exacting Clam. 

Sag Obtuse cover.jpg
In Hospital Cover.jpeg
wheels jake.jpeg

Jake Goldsmith, 2020

Lemons Drawing.jpeg

'Lemons' - 2021

lemons table.jpeg

Lemons the Cat


'Montesquieu' - 2022

BarbellionLOGO DRAWN.jpg
bottom of page