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The Good Doctor

Mates, Susan Onthank

4 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0877454671 / ISBN 13: 9780877454670
Published by Iowa State College Press, 1994
New Condition: New Hardcover
From PORT HOLE BOOKS and PUBLISHING (Florence, OR, U.S.A.)

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New/VF dj Library of Congress copy / collectable! s.152. Bookseller Inventory # 001780

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Good Doctor

Publisher: Iowa State College Press

Publication Date: 1994

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:New

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

Many of Mates' characters have experienced some sort of cultural dislocation. In "Theng", refugees from Cambodia living in Providence, Rhode Island, struggle to maintain their dignity in the face of despair and the bittersweet memories of their former home. In "Shambalileh," a Persian woman unable to have children with her American husband, is forced to reexamine her status both as wife and as foreigner. Unifying these incredibly diverse stories is the brave honesty with which the characters confront the tenuousness of their situations. For the most part, they share the tenacity of the woman in "Shambalileh," who "with great caution ... began to imagine the rest of her life."
The central characters in several stories are doctors, whose candid explorations of the vast moral implications of medical practice make of their lives a sort of psychic battleground between good and evil. In "The Good Doctor", a doctor torn between her dedication to medicine and her own requirements as a human being - what many of us might call her weaknesses - arrives at an intriguing conclusion. An intern in "Ambulance" risks her own well-being to save the life of a victim of gang violence.
The twelve stories in this collection are powerful and durable. The debate between good and evil is so intense that the daily experiences of Mates; characters, transformed and reorganized, become psychic quests. Mates takes us back to the fundamental question that is the fountainhead of all serious fiction: how should we live?

From Publishers Weekly:

At the heart of this debut story collection, winner of the 1994 John Simmons Short Fiction Award, are men and women, many of them medical workers, struggling to be good parents, honorable workers and virtuous people. In "Ambulance," a medical student is awakened to the frailty of life when she unexpectedly must escort a dying patient on a harrowing ambulance ride through the Bronx. In "Sleep," a doctor and his wife practice tough love in order to treat their four-year-old daughter's insomnia. In the title story, a woman who once ran a clinic in Tanzania finds her new position at a Bronx hospital to be an even tougher moral battleground. And in "These Days," the most poignant tale of the 12 presented here, an elderly doctor of infectious diseases confronts the age of AIDS. At times, Mates etches events only slightly or hatches contrived endings, and her writing can suffer from faux-Kerouac excess ("I was the American girl righteousness rolled off me a mighty stream I rose from my desk Peter Pan Collar angel wings...."), but the yearning of nearly all her characters to do the right thing gives the collection an appeal that makes it a kind of experimental complement to that current powerhouse of mainstream morality, William Bennett's The Book of Virtues.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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