View Gallery


The Whistlers’ Room

Stories and Essays

List Price: $16.00

December 28, 2006 | Paperback | 6 x 9, 272 pages | ISBN 9781593761387
Order Now From Find a local bookstore

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.

About Richard Selzer

Richard Selzer was a former surgeon and professor at the Yale School of Medicine. He wrote 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 lived in New Haven, Connecticut.

"[This is] Gray's Anatomy, Volume II--the part that makes even the doctors' eyebrows arch and eyes grow wide and jaws fall open like steam shovels."

Related Products