The Human Condition Curated

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Marilyn McEntyre on Vincent DeVita's The Death of Cancer

"The book offers a detailed account by one of the nation’s leading cancer researchers of developments in chemotherapy over the past several decades, as well as the recent history of surgical and radiation treatments in the “war on cancer”—a term he resisted at first but finally embraced with full understanding of its implications..."

Howard Carter on Jonathan Kozol's The Theft of Memory

"Kozol tells a multilayered story about himself and his father, a distinguished physician who becomes increasingly demented by Alzheimer’s disease, starting at age 88. A neurologist, Dr. Harry Kozol is able to diagnose with great specificity his own disease..."

Guy Glass on Cristin O'Keefe's Dr. Mütter's Marvels

"Those who are familiar with the Mütter Museum of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, best known for its anatomical oddities, may have wondered about the institution’s namesake.  The author of this book, a poet and native of Philadelphia, endeavors to place Thomas Dent Mütter within the context of 19th-century American medicine..."

Martin Kohn on Brian Dolan's Humanitas: Readings in the Development of the Medical Humanities

"Brian Dolan has done a great service for the field of medical humanities through his efforts in putting together this volume. Its 19 reprinted articles cover the spectrum of disciplines/fields/methodologies that anchor our work:  history, literature, film, theater, arts..."

Martin Kohn on Nancy Adams-Cogan's chapbook Minds Changing: Still Here

"What comes through in these poems is the deep humanity of those who struggle with memory loss—both the individual experiencing it directly and the family members or caregivers accompanying them on their journey..."

Marilyn McEntyre on Julie Murphy's novel Side Effects May Vary

"The novel offers a valuable look at some of the ambiguities of long-term illness and of cancer in particular, including the uncertainties of prognosis and how they challenge a person's most basic sense of how to live out what matters most..."

Rich Ratzan on John Crowe Ransom's "Old Man Playing With Children"

"[A] succinct, formal narrative of a seemingly ordinary event or scene, but one made poetical and extraordinary by virtue of its irony and an exegesis that succeeds—just—in skirting didacticism and rhetoric. One finishes a John Crowe Ransom poem wiser than when one started it."

Guy Glass on Sarah Kane's play 4:48 Psychosis

"4:48 Psychosis raises the question of what constitutes theater.  Is this a case study in psychotic depression, a work of art, or both?  Can one call language without boundaries a play?  What direction remains for contemporary theater to take following total fragmentation..."

Marilyn McEntyre on Jennifer Worth's Call the Midwife

"This collection is well worth reading even if one has seen and enjoyed the entire superb TV series based on it.  Worth's writing is lively, reflective, and rich with historical perspectives not rendered in the filmed version.  She writes with imagination and compassion about other women's lives..."

Lois Nixon on David Schiedermayer's "Skin for Ricky"

"The physician-narrator is looking in on a 30 year old patient named Ricky. Readers immediately learn that the patient has cerebral palsy: his ear mashed flat, his neck contorted into a tight C, almost quadriplegic..."

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Total Database Contents

  • 166 Visual Art Annotations
  • 2655 Literature Annotations
  • 252 Performing Art Annotations
  • 93 Artists
  • 1694 Authors
  • 140 Keywords