Arts & Culture Faithful Creativity
On The Art and Science of Healing
Just as scientific advances contribute to the healing process, so does literature. These book recommendations from members of the SPU community offer insights into health from the sciences and arts.
Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance
Metropolitan Books, 2007
A physician-writer is a rare entity and often suspect in both worlds. As a physician in training, I look to Atul Gawande among others as a role model bridging the gulf between science and art. In Better, he tells stories that examine margins where many medical professionals settle for "good enough," showing how we can and must do better.
A modern parable of the talents, Better has me convinced that already good stewards are made even better with checklists.
Rachel Ellis Hammer '07, M.D. student at Mayo Medical School
The Art of Losing: Poems of Grief and Healing
Edited by Kevin Young
Although the experience of grief is a necessary part of being human, it can often feel like a solitary burden, a lonely journey to an uncharted land. This new poetry anthology explores the subject of loss and its aftermath through a range of poetic voices, from classic (Emily Dickinson) to contemporary (Natasha Trethewey).
I would recommend this collection to anyone seeking consolation during a time of loss.
Jennifer Maier, Associate Professor of English
The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic — and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World
In 1854 a deadly cholera epidemic struck London's Soho district. At the time, most people, including Rev. Henry Whitehead, believed cholera was caused by miasmas, or 'bad air.' Dr. John Snow, however, had begun to suspect contaminated drinking water.
When the epidemic struck, Whitehead and Snow worked together to gather data, and the story of their collaboration shows what happens when ideas and effort converge to create a paradigm shift in scientific understanding.
Carrie Fry, Electronic Services/Systems Librarian; Librarian for Health Sciences
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