98 Reasons for Being

98 Reasons for Being

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by Clare Dudman
     
 

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Novelist Clare Dudman, whose work has earned comparisons to Andrea Barrett and Barry Lopez, is that rare kind of author who can bring history dramatically to life. Here she conjures up the revolutionary nineteenth-century German physician Heinrich Hoffmann (best known today for his book of children's rhymes, Shockheaded Peter, or Struwwelpeter) as he

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Overview

Novelist Clare Dudman, whose work has earned comparisons to Andrea Barrett and Barry Lopez, is that rare kind of author who can bring history dramatically to life. Here she conjures up the revolutionary nineteenth-century German physician Heinrich Hoffmann (best known today for his book of children's rhymes, Shockheaded Peter, or Struwwelpeter) as he struggles to cure an inhabitant of Frankfurt's Jewish ghetto who hasn't spoken, slept, or eaten in weeks. As the secrets hidden in the girl's mind are exposed, Dr. Hoffmann also begins to uncover his own buried truths and, in the end, discovers his real reasons for being.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Set in 1852 Frankfurt and loosely based on notes from the files of physician Heinrich Hoffman, this novel deals with the fictitious case of a despondent and speechless young woman delivered by her mother to the local insane asylum for treatment. When the conventional psychiatric treatments of the day-ice packs, emetics, purgatives, and leeches-have no effect on her, reform-minded Hoffman turns to a talking cure. By opening up about himself, his family, and his other patients-whose problems range from anorexia to creeping paralysis to cross-dressing-he gradually succeeds in treating his silent patient. In a pre-Freudian time, when mental illness was little understood and women's problems were attributed to irregularities in their nervous and reproductive systems, it seems nothing short of miraculous that doctors like Hoffman achieved medical breakthroughs and actually cured some of their patients. Dudman (One Day the Ice Will Reveal All Its Dead) has crafted a compelling tale that skillfully blends fact and fiction, giving her work the ring of verisimilitude. Recommended for public libraries.-Barbara Love, Kingston Frontenac P.L., Kingston, Ont. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780143038009
Publisher:
Penguin Group (USA)
Publication date:
11/28/2006
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
5.08(w) x 7.76(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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