What does it mean to live with breast cancer, anorexia, chronic pain, dementia, or COVID-19? How does it feel to care for aging parents or to live with people with Alzheimer's? Contemporary illness memoirs foreground these experiences, offering readers insider accounts of lives marked by infirmity. This special issue of Prose Studies presents six critical readings of contemporary experiences of illness, highlighting both the aesthetic and personal experience of reading illness memoirs. These articles address pressing questions regarding how we understand illness and disability today, what popular perspectives get wrong about lived experiences of illness, as well as how reading illness memoirs might help correct widespread or less-thoughtful social and cultural perceptions of the experience of illness.