Life in Medicine: A Literary Anthology

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A literary collection edited by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the "Children of Crisis" series.Take notes. In the end, you will suffer alone. But at the beginning you suffer with a whole lot of other people.—Lorrie Moore, from A Life in Medicine 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. Described as "an admirably complete look at the best recent writing on medicine" by the Detroit Free Press, the book includes well-known authors such as William Carlos Williams, Wendell Berry, Anne Fadiman, Lorrie Moore, and Walt Whitman, as well as writing from doctors, nurses, practitioners, and patients. Provocative and moving contributions address issues of life and death, cancer and AIDS, seizures and psychosis, advocacy and anatomy, from both ends of the stethoscope.

About the Author:
: Robert Coles is a child psychiatrist, Pulitzer Prize-winning author, founder of DoubleTake, and professor at Harvard Medical School. A two-time recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, he lives in Concord, Massachusetts. Randy Testa has taught literature and medical ethics at Harvard and at Dartmouth Medical School. He is the editor of DoubleTake and lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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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 (
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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: 447,447
  • Product dimensions: 6.08 (w) x 10.88 (h) x 1.01 (d)

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