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The Whistlers’ Room

Stories and Essays

List Price: $16.00

December 28, 2006 | Paperback | 6 x 9, 272 Pages | ISBN 9781593761387
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"One comes away with the sense of time spent in thoughtful and imaginative company, with a writer both witty and generous." —Seattle Times

Richard Selzer traded in his scalpel for a pen over fifteen years ago, but the precision and exacting intellect of his medical background carried over into his prose, giving us stories and essays devoid of sentimentality, marked by careful attention to detail, and suffused with awe for the mysteries of the human body.

Selzer turns those talents to the book’s title essay, a retelling of the novella by little-known German writer, Paul Alverdes. In it, three men inhabit the Whistlers’ Room where soldier-patients recuperate from wounds to the throat. Shading meaning between the injured men and the doctors, Selzer leads us to a compassionate understanding of the sick and the people who heal them.

The twenty-four pieces of this collection make a strong case for Selzer’s inclusion among the company of such esteemed physician-turned-writers as Chekhov, William Carlos Williams, and Oliver Sachs.

RICHARD SELZER, a former surgeon and professor at the Yale School of Medicine, has written numerous books, including the short story collections Rituals of Surgery and Taking the World in for Repairs, as well as the essay collection, Confessions of a Knife. He has been honored with a Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Magazine Award, a Pushcart Prize, and an American Medical Writers Award. He lives in New Haven, Connecticut.

Praise

“Richard Selzer’s writing is daring and lyrical; it sings with insights and surprises, humor and tension, charm, wisdom, magic and a precise eccentricity.” —Philadelphia Inquirer

“Surgeon-author Selzer here shares a couple of dozen reasons to spend some delightful time in his mind, or at least to bask in his gift for memorable observations.” —Booklist

“One comes away with the sense of time spent in thoughtful and imaginative company, with a writer both witty and generous.” —Seattle Times

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