Taking the World in for Repairs

Overview

A collection of a dozen short stories, essays, and memoirs originally published in 1986, and now available in trade paperback. Richard Selzer retired as a surgeon in 1984 to write about his profession. His books include Letters to a Young Doctor, Confessions of a Knife, Mortal Lessons, Rituals of Surgery, and most recent, Raising the Dead.
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Overview

A collection of a dozen short stories, essays, and memoirs originally published in 1986, and now available in trade paperback. Richard Selzer retired as a surgeon in 1984 to write about his profession. His books include Letters to a Young Doctor, Confessions of a Knife, Mortal Lessons, Rituals of Surgery, and most recent, Raising the Dead.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
These 12 essays (some cast as ``stories'') seem to have grown easily and naturally out of Selzer's professional life as a professor of surgery at Yale; as a teacher of writing, also at Yale; as the author of bestsellers, Mortal Lessons among them. He can arrive at a hushed universality by the simplest means, writing wtih sensitivity and compassion lightened by ironic insight and humor. Most moving is his tale of a growing boy's love for a bedridden girl who is dying of tuberculosis. No morbidity here, only tragic beauty. On the other hand, Selzer's realism may shock some as he describes what goes on in a slaughterhouseyet that same realism makes absolutely compelling his detailed recapture of his stay with monks in an island monastery off Venice. Selzer lifts scientific description to a rare level, as in his story of the life cycle of a worm in a man's bowels. He caps his book with an unforgettable humanistic description of the work of a visiting crew of surgeons in Peru, where they correct the birth defects of Indian children come down from the Andes for the healing miracle. (September 18)
Library Journal
Since the publication of Mortal Lessons and Confessions of a Knife a decade ago, surgeon Selzer has been recognized as a unique and very talented literary stylist and a humanizer of an increasingly technological profession. The 12 gracefully written essays and stories in this collection display the human qualities that characterized his previous books: compassion for the afflicted; awe of the natural order; awareness of the complexity and contradictions of life; and a special ability to understand what makes people tick. In one essay, for example, Selzer examines with painful candor the blood and guts of slaughterhouses, only to admit at the end his own need to eat meat. And, in most of the pieces, he tells how he has tried to help peoplenot through the art of healing as much as through the art of piecemeal repair of what needs fixing. In this, he wields the pen as skillfully as the knife. Jack Forman, Mesa Coll. Lib., San Diego
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780870133633
  • Publisher: Michigan State University Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/1994
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 239
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.61 (d)

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