The Human Condition Curated

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Marilyn McEntyre on Rachel Simon's novel The Story of Beautiful Girl

"The plot is ambitious and romantic, and the characters' internal lives richly imagined.  A thoughtful treatment of the costs and consequences of public disregard of the plight of the mentally ill and disabled."

Jackie Duffin on Janet Kellough's The Burying Ground

"It gently evokes the painful dilemma of a young, accomplished person whose natural leanings oppose everything that he has been taught and whose longing to express them could ruin his entire life..."

Jackie Duffin on Barnet Berris's Medicine: My Story

"Born in 1921 to Jewish immigrant parents, “Barney” Barnett describes his life in medicine and education, from his earliest love of science and learning through his medical and residency education in general internal medicine, his success as an academic physician, and finally his judicious decision to retire..."

Marilyn McEntyre on Charles Blow's Fire Shut Up In My Bones

"Blow’s account of growing up in rural Louisiana, exposed to negligence, sexual molestation, violence, and loss focuses on a child’s strategies of survival first, and then on sexual confusion, social ambition, and discovery of the gifts that led him to his life as a writer for the New York Times..."

Jackie Duffin on Patrick Taylor's novel A Dublin Student Doctor

"One in a rapidly growing series of popular medical novels about Ireland at a moment just before the late-twentieth-century troubles came to alter that way of life..."

Jackie Duffin on Jennifer Kaufman & Karen Mack's Freud's Mistress

"This easily read novel is in some ways a thought experiment about the mystery over the relationship of Sigmund Freud to his sister-in-law Minna, told from her perspective..."

Audrey Shafer on Matt McCarthy's The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly

"The author proves a likable guide, with enough humility, smarts and wry observations to make the telling of this rite of passage a welcome addition to the canon..."

Marilyn McEntyre on Out of My Bone: The Letters of Joy Davidman

"[Davidman's] story is one of spiritual and intellectual resilience, if anything strengthened by the devastating illness that finally took her life..."

Tony Miksanek on Henry Marsh's memoir Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death, and Brain Surgery

"A bicycling, bee-keeping, British neurosurgeon approaching the end of his professional career recalls some distinctive patients, surgical triumphs as well as notable failures, difficult decisions, and mistakes."

Audrey Shafer on I.W. Gregorio's young adult novel, None of the Above

"This novel provides a much needed storyline for teens, young adults and family members who seek an understanding of intersex and the spectrum of gender identity."

Gretl Lam on Ian Williams' graphic novel The Bad Doctor

"This is an especially insightful portrayal of the doctor-patient relationship, told refreshingly in the format of a graphic novel."

Howard Carter on Oliver Sacks' autobiography On The Move

"Using his journals, correspondence, and memories—as well as his 14 or so books—Sacks has given himself free rein to describe and analyze his long, productive, and unusual life."

Howard Carter on Atul Gawande's book Being Mortal

"A surgeon and an investigator, Gawande draws on his patients, his family, and travels to various hospitals and other caregiving places in order to confront death..."

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Total Database Contents

  • 166 Visual Art Annotations
  • 2632 Literature Annotations
  • 252 Performing Art Annotations
  • 93 Artists
  • 1686 Authors
  • 141 Keywords