978-0-385-66545-2 / 9780385665452

Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures (Limited Edition): Special Limited Edition


Publisher:Doubleday Canada



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About the book:

Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures welcomes readers into a world where the most mundane events can quickly become life or death. By following four young medical students and physicians  Ming, Fitz, Sri and Chen  this debut collection from 2006 Scotiabank Giller Prize winner Vincent Lam is a riveting, eye-opening account of what it means to be a doctor. Deftly navigating his way through 12 interwoven short stories, the author explores the characters relationships with each other, their patients, and their careers. Lam draws on his own experience as an emergency room physician and shares an insiders perspective on the fears, frustrations, and responsibilities linked with one of societys most highly regarded occupations.

I wanted to write about the way in which a person changes as they become a physician  how their world view shifts, and how they become a slightly different version of themselves in the process of becoming a doctor, Lam explains. I wanted to write about the reality that doing good and trying to help others is not simple. It is ethically complicated and sometimes involves a reality that can only be expressed by telling a story.

In the books first story, How to Get into Medical School, Part 1, students Ming and Fitz wrestle with their opposing personalities and study techniques, while coming to terms with a growing emotional connection that elicits disapproval from Mings traditional Chinese-Canadian parents. Lams exceptional talent for describing scenarios with great precision is showcased in Take All of Murphy, when Ming, Chen, and Sri find themselves at a moral crossroads while dissecting a cadaver. Throughout the book, readers are treated to the physicians internal thoughts and the mental drama involved with treating patients, including Fitzs struggle with self-doubt in Code Clock and Chens boredom and exhaustion in Before Light.

From delivering babies to evacuating patients and dealing with deadly viruses, the four primary characters in Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures are made thoroughly human by Lams insightful detail, realistic dialogue, and expert storytelling. The medical world is naturally filled with drama, but its the authors ability to give equal weight to the smaller moments that really brings this book to life.

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