Alyssa Grimshaw's blog

New Book for the Humanities in Medicine Collection

3 December 2017 - 8:56pm by Alyssa Grimshaw

Check out the newest book in the Humanities in Medicine Collection, Lindsey Fitzharris’s The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister’s Quest to Transform the Grisly World of Victorian Medicine.

Cover Art for the The Butchering Art by Lindsey Fitzharris. Image depicts a Victorian period surgery..

 

Excerpt from the book cover:

The gripping story of how Joseph Lister’s antiseptic method changed medicine forever

In The Butchering Art, the historian Lindsey Fitzharris reveals the shocking world of nineteenth-century surgery on the eve of profound transformation. She conjures up early operating theaters―no place for the squeamish―and surgeons, working before anesthesia, who were lauded for their speed and brute strength. These medical pioneers knew that the aftermath of surgery was often more dangerous than their patients’ afflictions, and they were baffled by the persistent infections that kept mortality rates stubbornly high. At a time when surgery couldn’t have been more hazardous, an unlikely figure stepped forward: a young, melancholy Quaker surgeon named Joseph Lister, who would solve the deadly riddle and change the course of history.

Fitzharris dramatically recounts Lister’s discoveries in gripping detail, culminating in his audacious claim that germs were the source of all infection―and could be countered by antiseptics. Focusing on the tumultuous period from 1850 to 1875, she introduces us to Lister and his contemporaries―some of them brilliant, some outright criminal―and takes us through the grimy medical schools and dreary hospitals where they learned their art, the deadhouses where they studied anatomy, and the graveyards they occasionally ransacked for cadavers.

Eerie and illuminating, The Butchering Art celebrates the triumph of a visionary surgeon whose quest to unite science and medicine delivered us into the modern world.

Want to know more about this book? Here is the link to the New York Times Book Review by Jennifer Senior: https://nyti.ms/2BzCoKP

 

Humanities in Medicine Collection is located across from the Circulation Desk.

Spotlight on the Humanities in Medicine Collection

14 July 2016 - 6:31pm by Alyssa Grimshaw

Spotlight on the Humanities in Medicine Collection

 

Check out the newest book in the Humanities in Medicine Collection, Aliceheimer’s Alzheimer’s Through the Looking Glass.

Image of the cover of Aliceheimer's Alzheimer's Through the Looking Glass

Excerpt from the book cover:

“Alice was always beautiful—Armenian immigrant beautiful, with thick, curly black hair, olive skin, and big dark eyes,” writes Dana Walrath. Alice also has Alzheimer’s, and while she can remember all the songs from The Music Man, she can no longer attend to the basics of caring for herself. Alice moves to live with her daughter, Dana, in Vermont, and the story begins.

Aliceheimer’s is a series of illustrated vignettes, daily glimpses into their world with Alzheimer’s. Walrath’s time with her mother was marked by humor and clarity: “With a community of help that included pirates, good neighbors, a cast of characters from space-time travel, and my dead father hovering in the branches of the maple trees that surround our Vermont farmhouse,Aliceheimer’s let us write our own story daily—a story that, in turn, helps rewrite the dominant medical narrative of aging.”

In drawing Alice, Walrath literally enrobes her with cut-up pages from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. She weaves elements from Lewis Carroll’s classic throughout her text, using evocative phrases from the novel to introduce the vignettes, such as “Disappearing Alice,” “Missing Pieces,” “Falling Slowly,” “Curiouser and Curiouser,” and “A Mad Tea Party.”

Walrath writes that creating this book allowed her not only to process her grief over her mother’s dementia, but also “to remember the magic laughter of that time.” Graphic medicine, she writes, “lets us better understand those who are hurting, feel their stories, and redraw and renegotiate those social boundaries. Most of all, it gives us a way to heal and to fly over the world as Alice does.” In the end, Aliceheimer’s is indeed strangely and utterly uplifting.

Want to know more about this book? Here is the link to the New York Times blog post by Nancy Stearns Bercaw: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/06/21/alzheimers-disease-as-an-adventure-in-wonderland/?_r=0 

Humanities in Medicine Collection is located across from the Circulation Desk.

Spotlight on Humanities in Medicine Collection

8 June 2016 - 4:39pm by Alyssa Grimshaw


Spotlight on the Humanities in Medicine Collection

Check out the newest book in the Humanities in Medicine Collection, The Gene: An Intimate History.

Excerpt from the book coverThe Gene: An Intimate History Siddhartha Mukherjee Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author of The Emperor of All Maladies:

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning, bestselling author of The Emperor of All Maladies—a magnificent history of the gene and a response to the defining question of the future: What becomes of being human when we learn to “read” and “write” our own genetic information?

Siddhartha Mukherjee has a written a biography of the gene as deft, brilliant, and illuminating as his extraordinarily successful biography of cancer. Weaving science, social history, and personal narrative to tell us the story of one of the most important conceptual breakthroughs of modern times, Mukherjee animates the quest to understand human heredity and its surprising influence on our lives, personalities, identities, fates, and choices.

Throughout the narrative, the story of Mukherjee’s own family—with its tragic and bewildering history of mental illness—cuts like a bright, red line, reminding us of the many questions that hang over our ability to translate the science of genetics from the laboratory to the real world. In superb prose and with an instinct for the dramatic scene, he describes the centuries of research and experimentation—from Aristotle and Pythagoras to Mendel and Darwin, from Boveri and Morgan to Crick, Watson and Franklin, all the way through the revolutionary twenty-first century innovators who mapped the human genome.

As The New Yorker said of The Emperor of All Maladies, “It’s hard to think of many books for a general audience that have rendered any area of modern science and technology with such intelligence, accessibility, and compassion…An extraordinary achievement.” Riveting, revelatory, and magisterial history of a scientific idea coming to life, and an essential preparation for the moral complexity introduced by our ability to create or “write” the human genome, The Gene is a must-read for everyone concerned about the definition and future of humanity. This is the most crucial science of our time, intimately explained by a master.

Want to know more about this book? Here is the link to the New York Times Book Review by James Gleick: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/15/books/review/the-gene-by-siddhartha-mukherjee.html?_r=0

Humanities in Medicine Collection is located across from the Circulation Desk.

Humanities in Medicine Collection

2 December 2015 - 7:30pm by Alyssa Grimshaw

The Yale Medical Library and Yale Program for Humanities in Medicine partnered on behalf of the Yale Medical Library’s newest collection: Humanities in Medicine. This collection focuses on works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry that relate to the human condition and human experience.                

Do No Harm by Henry Marsh

This month, we feature a newly published memoir by neurosurgeon Henry Marsh: Do No Harm. Marsh’s writings give insight into the complex and oft compelling inner thoughts that reflect the life and death decisions made by one neurosurgeon looking back over his long career.

The Humanities in Medicine Collection can be found in the shelving units directly across from the Circulation Desk.         

Come join us and browse through these great new books!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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