The Human Condition Curated

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Albert Howard Carter on Waking the Spirit: A Musician's Journey Healing Body, Mind, and Soul by Andrew Schulman

"Andrew Schulman is a New York guitarist...His memoir describes his experience as a patient in a Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU), where he was briefly clinically dead. Six months later he began a part-time career as a guitarist playing for patients and staff in that very same SICU."


Martin Kohn on A Doctor's Visit: An Adaptation of a Short Story by Chekhov by Guy Glass

"First published in 1898, Chekhov’s “A Doctor’s Visit” has been ably adapted as a short play by physician-playwright, Guy Fredrick Glass...The primary theme of the story stays true in this adaptation—Korolyov’s impressions of the patient viewed from a cold objective stance are changed as he develops personal insights into the social and political nature of her (and his) malaise."

Russell Teagarden on Is It All in Your Head? by Suzanne O’Sullivan

Suzanne O’Sullivan, a neurologist in the British Health Service, draws on case studies that “focus on particular psychosomatic illnesses, and include historical perspectives and various theories that might explain why they occur.”

Mark Clark on Wandering in Darkness: Narrative and the Problem of Suffering by Eleonore Stump

"This is a daunting but impressively rich examination of the problem of suffering and the ways that narrative engagement is the best and perhaps the only truly effective way of examining the issue."

Russell Teagarden on T.B. Harlem by Alice Neel

"This painting speaks not just to the impact of the disease on individuals, but the underlying conditions that predispose communities to it as well."

Mona Saleh on The Politics of Female Circumcision in Egypt: Gender, Sexuality, and the Construction of Identity by Maria Malmström

"This book offers first-hand accounts into the often private world of Muslim Egyptian women and their thoughts on womanhood, sexuality, and female genital cutting that is unparalleled by others in the field.”

Russell Teagarden on The Knick directed by Steven Soderbergh

"...The Knick was inspired by the Knickerbocker Hospital, founded in Harlem in 1862 to serve the poor...The central character, the chief surgeon Dr. John Thackery, is modeled on a famous surgeon of the time, Dr. William Halsted..."


Gabriel Redel-Traub on Bellevue: Three Centuries of Medicine and Mayhem at America’s Most Storied Hospital by David Oshinsky

"Oshinsky’s affection for Bellevue as an institution, for its physicians and for its hallowed place in the history of New York City shines throughout making the book both exciting and relevant for the modern reader."

Albert Howard Carter on The Principles and Practice of Narrative Medicine by Charon, DasGupta, Hermann, Irvine, Marcus, Rivera Colón, Spencer and Spiegel

"This is a rich, important, and useful book. It is...refreshing and inspiring to consider human-to-human discourse that honors both patient and caregiver in relationships that are helpful to treatment."

Katie Grogan on States of Grace directed by Helen Cohen and Mark Lipman

"States of Grace follows Dr. Grace Dammann, a pioneering HIV/AIDS physician, as she navigates life following a catastrophic motor vehicle accident that leaves her severely physically disabled...The film tracks the far-reaching tendrils of trauma and offers a window into what those working in health care rarely get to see: what happens when the patient goes home."

Albert Howard Carter on Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and a Culture in Crisis by J.D Vance

“Vance’s book is important for providing an intimate, specific, and thoughtful description and analysis of his society, a hidden pocket of America.”

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Total Database Contents

  • 173 Visual Art Annotations
  • 2700 Literature Annotations
  • 258 Performing Art Annotations
  • 94 Artists
  • 1729 Authors
  • 145 Keywords