The Human Condition Curated

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Russell Teagarden on Electricity by Bryn Higgins and Sukey Fisher

"The Wellcome Trust co-funded the movie with the British Film Institute because it saw in Lily’s story an opportunity to explore temporal lobe epilepsy ‘through her eyes.’  “

Jacalyn Duffin on Finding Our Way Home; A Family’s Story of Life, Love, and Loss by Damon Dagnone

"An autobiographical-autopathological account of a father’s horrifying experience of seeing a beloved child diagnosed with cancer, suffering greatly through treatment, and succumbing to its brutal side effects. Powerfully written with stark honesty and love…"

Tony Miksanek on A Mind Unraveled: A Memoir by Kurt Eichenwald

"Kurt Eichenwald shares his experiences living with epilepsy in an electrifying narrative….The psychological and emotional impact of living with a chronic and unpredictable illness is front and center."

Steven Field on Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

“Mustering a combination of data and insights from the domains of history, archeology, genetics, biology, paleobiology, economics, and sociology, among others, Harari weaves an organized narrative that attempts to answer the questions of who we are and how we got here.”

Jacalyn Duffin on Code Blues by Melissa Yuan-Innes and Melissa Yi

"A “whodunnit” with medicine, romance, and suspense…. An easy read with character studies of medical “types,” which will be enjoyably recognizable to readers from health-care professions."

Celebrating 25 Years of the Literature, Arts and Medicine Database

In the following post, David Oshinsky, Marc Triola, Lucy Bruell and Felice Aull, the founder and Editor in Chief Emerita, take us through the early years of the site and its evolution.

Joshua Jiang on The Big Sick directed by Michael Showalter

"The film interrogates the emotional capacity required of family and friends in the face of another’s illness and asks viewers to recognize that patients do not tread the journey of disease alone but in conjunction with their caregivers."

Cortney Davis on Comfort Measures Only by Rafael Campo

"Happily, Rafael Campo is a doctor who delivers excellent and compassionate care as well as a writer who steps back, aware of all the complexities of life, illness, and mortality, to offer us these excellent and compassionate poems."

Russell Teagarden on Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America by Beth Macy

"Beth Macy has been a newspaper reporter in the Roanoke, Virginia area for three decades. In this book, she provides extensive reporting on the opioid crisis, how it developed and wreaked havoc in Appalachia, and how it grew into a national crisis across the United States."

Shawn Thomas on Three Identical Strangers by Tim Wardle

"The documentary Three Identical Strangers tells the unbelievable story of Bobby Shafran, Eddy Galland, and David Kellman – three identical triplets who were separated at birth and serendipitously reunited at the age of 19."

Albert Howard Carter on Modern Death: How Medicine Changed the End of Life by Haider Warraich

"This intelligent and compelling book invites us to evaluate the losses pertaining to 'modern death' and to consider better ways—whether from the past or in the future—to care for the dying, their families, and all care-givers."

Cortney Davis on Sky the Oar by Stacy Nigliazzo

"As a practicing ER nurse, Nigliazzo becomes, in these poems, an especially astute witness, using her condensed, lovely, and metaphoric language to let readers enter both the patient's experience and the caregiver's."

Gabriel Redel-Traub on Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

"The story is an intimate look into how quickly war can warp the quotidian routines of daily life...Hamid portrays the psychological cost of exile, loss and dislocation."

Sebastian Galbo on Written on the Body by Jeanette Winterson

"Winterson’s novel provides a window into how individuals experience grief during periods of a loved one’s illness."

Albert Howard Carter on Also Human: The Inner Lives of Doctors by Caroline Elton

"This important and much needed book describes the psychological difficulties of doctors in training and in practice…"

Tony Miksanek on This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor by Adam Kay

"Residency training is a roller coaster ride, and the experience is captured here with exceptional clarity, honesty, and a sprinkling of humor."

Shawn Thomas on Art & Anatomy: Drawings by Laura Ferguson and Katie Grogan

"Art & Anatomy: Drawings proves... that there is an artist living inside each and every one of us; just give us a drawing pad and watch what happens."

Total Database Contents

  • 176 Visual Art Annotations
  • 2796 Literature Annotations
  • 268 Performing Art Annotations
  • 98 Artists
  • 1782 Authors
  • 154 Keywords