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Merging art and religion with science, these essays delve deeply into the emotional territory of medicine commonly avoided by writers. Never hesitant to admit his own frailties, Selzer draws on his experiences as a surgeon with integrity and wit.
Susan Cheever observed in a New York Times Book Review appraisal of his memoir Down from Troy that Richard Selzer "cares more about truth than consequences . . . [and] immerses us in the facts we all know but hate to admit. " Selzer's Diary picks up roughly where the memoir leaves off, as his writing life flourishes and surgical career ends. Stripped of the doctor-writer's "privilege of [walking] about all day in the middle of a short story," Selzer shifts his focus to his interior life. InDiary, the author's successes and regrets, as well as the humor and sadness that surround him, are revealed with the same empathy and vividness that made him one of the great doctor-writers of modern literature. Diary brings together stories and observations dashed off on park benches and in library carrels over the past decade. Following the success of such books as Confessions of a Knife and The Doctor Stories, Selzer's diary entries recount life lived in the shadow of both achievement and disappointment. He introduces a varied cast of characters, from the distinguished fellowship of the "Boys Friendly" to his "fellow loonies," and evokes the streets, buildings, and parks of Yale and New Haven with vibrancy and affection. And throughout, Selzer faces the looming specter of old age. The distinctive voice that paved the way for other notable doctor-writers like Jerome Groopman and Abraham Verghese is revealed here to be no less compelling with the spotlight turned on himself and the drama of everyday living.
The definitive collection of Selzer's most loved short stories and essays, this volume also features a new novella entitled "Avalanche" and an Introduction detailing his literary beginnings.
Surgeon and writer Richard Selzer looks back upon his upbringing in Troy, New York during the Great Depression. The memoir deals with Selzer's struggle to please his father, who wanted him to be a doctor and his mother who wanted him to write.
Richard Selzer selects from his own classic essays, culled from three decades of writing. Published along with his favorites are five new essays, including "Phantom Vision" and "Braindeath," and an introduction detailing the making of this virtuoso doctor/writer. Compassionate, moving and perversely funny,
Stories of sweetness and light these are not; but those with a taste for the truly suspenseful and horrific need to go no farther than these investment, disturbing tales by a master of the genre.
Highly candid, insightful, and unexpectedly humorous essays on both the brutality and the beauty of the profession in which saving and losing lives is all in a day's work. A timeless collection by the best of the writing surgeons.
In this collection of nineteen unforgettable essays, Dr. Selzer describes unsparingly the surgeon's art. Both moving and perversely funny, Mortal Lessons is an established classic that considers not only the workings and misworkings of the human body but also the meaning of life and death. With a Preface written by the Author especially for this edition.
The fragility of health and robustness of imagination merge when a seemingly healthy man's legs collapse suddenly beneath him, propelling him into a 23-day coma triggered by Legionnaire's Disease. Here, Selzer relives his illnesses, allowing the reader a highly personal glimpse into his delirium as he skates the line between life and death. This tale of survival remains unsentimental as Selzer grounds what was surely a terrifying experience in humour, emphasised by use of third person narrative.
Selzer's first collection of stories weaves together the fantastic and grotesque with surgical precision. He brings to light the horrors of surgery while displaying overwhelming compassion for his characters, creating a provocative commentary on the human condition.
A collection of a dozen short stories, essays, and memoirs originally published in 1986, and now available in trade paperback. Richard Selzer retired as a surgeon in 1984 to write about his profession.
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