Stewart Massad Doctors and Other Casualties

ISBN 13: 9780446516839

Doctors and Other Casualties

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9780446516839: Doctors and Other Casualties
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Not since William Carlos Williams has America produced a physician who writes with such sensitivity and power. Haunting, shocking, and unremittingly filled with the drama that happens in hospital emergency rooms and in the intimate encounters of those men and women we call "healers," this first collection of fiction by Stewart Massad is truly a landmark event. The five short stories and three novellas in Doctors and Other Casualties introduce a major new voice in American literature and offer an authentic portrayal of the special worlds doctors inhabit on and off the job.
We meet vivid characters who range from a young gynecologist's pregnant wife to a cranky, self-absorbed senior physician. We enter their lives and see through their eyes the joy of childbirth and the reality of death, the miracles of modern surgery and the timeless aspects of the human condition that science cannot alter. We discover not heroes, but human beings - men and women struggling to keep their family relationships and feelings intact as they deal with overwhelming pressure, suffering, and fear.
In the story "Fatigue," Massad shows us the stressful year of internship that takes idealistic, innocent trainees and plunges them into an environment awash in blood and random death. In "Change," he lets a middle-aged, conservative Southern doctor narrate the fascinating account of a young Boston woman doctor who openly challenges the mores, racism, and culture of a small North Carolina town. In "Healers," he explores the tough issues, the ones with no easy rights or wrongs, and tells the story of a compassionate and talented doctor who runs an abortion clinic, a choice that makes him a social outcast and may cost him his life. And in the novella "Casualties," in which a young resident diagnoses his own leukemia and begins the fight of his life, this author demonstrates his unique ability to make us feel the intensity of his character's emotions - one of the qualities that makes his writing so unforgettable.
Drawn from Stewart Massad's own experiences and stunningly contemporary in style and theme, this is fiction that exposes our society and our souls; it is as much a naked portrayal of our values and our dreams as it is an eye-opening and illuminating portrait of the complex men and women in whose hands we place our lives.

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About the Author:

Currently a teacher, researcher, and cancer surgeon at Chicagos Cook County Hospital, Dr. Massad trained at Duke University and Albany Medical Center, where several of his stories are set. His fiction and essays have appeared in JAMA and Discover as well as in literary magazines.

From Kirkus Reviews:

A first collection of eight stories, written by a practicing physician, that chronicles the lives, loves, and tribulations of a variety of doctors and their mates. At its best, it's hard-nosed but empathetic, replete with workaday detail that seems lived in. ``Dreams of a Doctor's Wife'' is a brief, haunting sketch about a woman who, after a friend's abortion, ``developed a horror of pregnancy.'' Later, an obstetrician's wife and pregnant, she lives through the dreams of pregnancy and, with birth, Massad finds an appropriately ambiguous ending. ``Healers'' tells of an abortionist who deals with demonstrators and struggles with his mixed motives until admitting that ``The truth is that I do abortions because I love women.'' In ``Survivors,'' Massad relates the story of two interns, one a hotshot and thoughtful, the other (who ``carried the sounds of Long Island money'') mostly inept; they both loved the same woman; the novella-length piece manages to avoid the obvious soap-opera traps for the most part. In ``Fatigue,'' the wife of an obstetrician-in-training has to deal with her husband's constant exhaustion and uncertainty (``All night the nurses asked me questions I couldn't answer'') for days and weeks and months; it's a harrowing, carefully developed story that doesn't allow its medical setting to reduce the husband-and-wife struggle to an afterthought. The other tales are sharply paced, well-polished renditions of the frenetic roller-coaster ride that for many of Massad's people seems to be regular routine. An impressive debut collection that takes readers into hospital wards, as well as doctor's bedrooms, without trivializing or sensationalizing its material. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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ISBN 10:  0595160662 ISBN 13:  9780595160662
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