Life in Medicine: A Literary Anthology

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Overview

A Life in Medicine collects stories, poems, and essays by and for those in the healing profession, who are struggling to keep up with the science while staying true to the humanitarian goals at the heart of their work. Organized around the central themes of altruism, knowledge, skill, and duty, the book includes contributions from well-known authors, doctors, nurses, practitioners, and patients. Provocative and moving pieces address what it means to care for a life in a century of unprecedented scientific advances, examining issues of hope and healing from both ends of the stethoscope.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This compilation of essays, poems, short stories, memoirs, and a play excerpt, edited by child psychiatrist Coles (Harvard Medical Sch.; Spiritual Life of Children) and literature and ethics professor Testa (Harvard and Dartmouth), reflects on the human side of medicine. The book includes pieces by famous writers (Raymond Carver, Hart Crane, Anton Chekhov, Mikhail Bulgakov, William Carlos Williams, etc.) as well as by the lesser known, most of whom are surgeons, psychiatrists, nurses, and midwives. The book is divided into four sections, with each part focusing on a particular quality that a physician must have (altruism, knowledge, skill, and a sense of duty). All of the selections reflect a concern for the human aspects of medicine and espouse the rights of the patient over the rigidity of the medical establishment. This anthology will be most useful for colleges that have medical ethics courses; the general reader will likely be less interested in such readings, excellent though they are. Recommended primarily for university libraries that support medical curricula. Morris Hounion, New York City Technical Coll. Lib., Brooklyn Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
From The Critics
Teachers of literature and medicine courses compile 52 stories, poems, and essays portraying relationships between patients and health care professionals. Some are by doctors and nurses, others by laypeople. Albert Schweitzer, Walt Whitman, Hart Crane, Anton Checkov, Mikhail Bulgakov, William Carlos Williams, and Wendell Berry are among the authors. There is no index. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781565848498
  • Publisher: New Press, The
  • Publication date: 9/1/2003
  • Edition description: 2002 First Edition
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 408,596
  • Product dimensions: 6.08 (w) x 10.88 (h) x 1.01 (d)

Meet the Author


Robert Coles is a psychiatrist and writer. Until recently, he was the James Agee Professor of Social Ethics at Harvard University. He is a co-editor, with Randy Testa, of A Life in Medicine: A Literary Anthology and Growing Up Poor: A Literary Anthology; a co-editor, with Albert LaFarge, of Minding the Store: Great Writing About Business, from Tolstoy to Now; and the author of Lives We Carry with Us: Profiles of Moral Courage, edited by David D. Cooper, all published by The New Press. His many books also include The Moral Intelligence of Children and Bruce Springsteen’s America: The People Listening, a Poet Singing. Coles received a Pulitzer Prize in 1973 for his acclaimed five-volume Children of Crisis series, a MacArthur Award in 1981, the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1998, and the National Humanities Medal in 2001. He lives in Concord, Massachusetts.

Randy Testa has taught literature and medical ethics at Harvard and Dartmouth Medical Schools. He is an editor at Doubletake magazine and lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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