"Despite my qualms, Brave Story is a wonderful piece of
literature that provides much insight into the adolescent mind for use
in broaching topics such as racial discrimination, religious zealotry,
childhood divorce, and radical acceptance."
“Many of the descriptions of the plague in Milan that Manzoni offers from his sources mirror descriptions that have appeared in contemporary mainstream accounts about the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. in 2020.”
“Norman’s memoir puts in stark relief the barriers in place when a young woman seeks help for an under-researched gynecological problem within a medical system still reckoning with its patriarchal norms and values.”
“The Galvins of Hidden Valley Road, just outside Colorado Springs, appear to be the kind of wholesome, all-American family that others might envy. The tragic fact is that six of the twelve children go on to develop schizophrenia..”
“Taking place in a post-apocalyptic United States, these graphic novels follow the life and legacy of a former county police officer named Rick Grimes as he and those he encounters learn to survive and thrive in a world beset by zombies… Relationships of all kinds are questioned, the most salient of which is that of parenthood.”
“The novel is written through the eyes of Varian Fry, a journalist who wrote from Berlin about Hitler’s savage treatment of the Jews in Germany in the mid-1930s….with money that he helped raise, Fry was able to help over 2,000 embattled artists, scientists, philosophers, and writers to escape Europe and find safe haven in the US.”
Jenny Offill’s new book, Weather was released in the middle of February, right before the COVID-19 pandemic exploded into the communal consciousness. In his timely essay, Howard Trachtman writes, “Offill’s book succeeds in humanizing anxiety and reduces the sense of isolation that can compound the worry and fears that affect all of us living in the 21st century.”
“As the author unfurls the history of estrogen use, she reveals some notable history of Biomedicine, in particular, the discovery and development of hormones, the rise of medicalization, the growth of women’s health and patient advocacy groups, the advancement of patient education, and the evolution of clinical research standards.”
"[The book] succeeds in amplifying the voices of patients not for the purpose of analysis but to share with readers the richly life-affirming qualities of pre-death experiences. This interview was conducted via email during March/April 2020."
"5B is a documentary about the special unit created at San Francisco General Hospital (Ward 5B) in 1983 to take care of people with AIDS...The story is told from various perspectives through interviews with key figures in its development and operation, and archival footage of the ward and AIDS activism in the community."
“The film raises important bioethical questions, demonstrates a troubling intersection of medicine and the state, and confronts viewers with the realities of a policy that intruded into one of the most intimate aspects of a people’s humanity.”
“Every poem in this small collection is strong, moving and informative, a look into a spouse- caregiver's world, one in which all pains are doubled, all sufferings shared with the loved patient yet ultimately experienced alone.”
“ The mystery of end-of-life dreams—their visions of loved ones; of seeking forgiveness, healing, and understanding within weeks, sometimes days, of one’s death; of comforting apparitions and visitations—points to a miraculous capacity within the human heart that eases the life-to-death transition.”
“Most of the group are reunited in this sequel to the 1978 blockbuster, The House of God. As interns, Basch and his comrades were a crazy, exhausted, cynical crew just trying to survive their brutal internship. Years later, the midlife doctors have changed but remain emotionally scarred.”
"Directed by Robin Campillo, himself a veteran of Paris’s ACT UP, the film details the realities of being an HIV/AIDS political action group during an era of governmental inaction and lack of recognition of those most impacted by HIV and AIDS."
"The Bridge in the Jungle is a novel about the tragic death of Carlos, an 8 or 9 year old (no age is given) hyperactive Mexican boy, and the aftermath of his mother's overwhelming grief for him, sometime in the early 20th Century in a very poor village deep in the jungle."
"Matthew Wong was a rising young painter who died of suicide on October 2, 2019. … [There is a] sense of isolation and longing in the painting, depicted by the solitary figure on a barren ridge, looking back at a house in lush green surroundings."
“Responding to a shortage of doctors in rural areas in 2013, Dr. Virji, a Muslim, moved from the urban East coast to a small town in Minnesota. The story is nuanced and sometimes surprising in the way it shows how medicine offers an access route across tightly held political and religious boundaries.”
“Throughout this memoir, Lesser seeks wisdom and guidance from colleagues and friends, offers lessons in how to be with a person who is sick and dying, and incorporates teachings from myriad spiritual and religious traditions.”
"Pamela Steele White was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease at the age of sixty-one. A year later, in 2009, as her disease progression was evident, her son Banker, a documentary filmmaker, turned his camera on, and he kept it on until the autumn of 2012."
"Louise Aronson, a geriatrician, argues that we should create Elderhood as the third era of human aging….This new concept will allow us to re-evaluate the richness of this later time, its challenges as body systems decline, and, of course, the choices of managing death."
"About 20 Years ago, Linda E. Clarke, writer, professional storyteller and bioethics consultant was a neurosurgery patient of a colleague, Michael D. Cusimano.... [The book is] a lyrical co-memoir-- at times riveting, at other times sobering of their shared experience."
“This poetry collection is the first in a series of four books by Anya Silver--each volume continues to track her life through cancer treatment, remission, recurrence, and the anticipation of death. ….. they are poems of hope and strength, poems that are truly gifts sent to us from the way stations of her difficult journey.”
"Survivors gets up close and personal to the 21-month battle against Ebola in West Africa, and shows how the common people of Sierra Leone risked everything to come together and fight back against an existential threat."