Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures Paperback
by Vincent Lam
An astonishing literary debut centred around four students as they apply to medical school, qualify as doctors and face the realities of working in medicine, from a powerful new voice in fiction.
In this beautifully written collection, Vincent Lam weaves together black humour, investigations of both common and extraordinary moral dilemmas, and a sometimes shockingly realistic portrait of today's medical profession.
We are introduced to a group of medical students over ten years, following their interlinked stories as they make the transition from medical school to hospital life.
The stories span the unique challenges faced by young, inexperienced doctors - having to decide during a first human dissection whether it is more important to follow the anatomy textbook or keep a tattoo intact - but also delve into their private lives, their relationships and family histories, their fears and motivations.
Riveting, convincing and precise, 'Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures' looks with rigorous honesty at the specificities of the lives of doctors and their patients and brings us to a deeper understanding of the challenges and temptations that surge around us all.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 400 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
- Publication Date: 05/03/2009
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780007263813
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Review by wandering_star
This is a collection of interlinked short stories dealing with a group of medical students (and later doctors). We see the trajectory of their lives, as well as evocative snapshots of the lives of their patients. Lam is himself a doctor, and his stories demonstrate the frailty of human beings - both physical and mental. They also made me wonder why anyone in their right mind would want to be a doctor. Beautifully observed and written, honest, tender, frank and sometimes not for the squeamish. I think the most remarkable thing about the stories is the way that we are left to interpret so much about what happens between them, with just a hint and a clue here and there, and yet we end up with a pretty clear picture of the characters we have seen grow. Very highly recommended.According to an interview in the back of my edition, Lam was working as a doctor on a cruise ship when Margaret Atwood came on board as the ship's writer. He sent her some of his work and she emailed back "CONGRATULATIONS YOU CAN WRITE". I'd agree - he can.