Taking the World in for Repairs

Richard Selzer, Author William Morrow & Company $15.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-688-06489-1
These 12 essays (some cast as ""stories'') seem to have grown easily and naturally out of Selzer's professional life as a professor of surgery at Yale; as a teacher of writing, also at Yale; as the author of bestsellers, Mortal Lessons among them. He can arrive at a hushed universality by the simplest means, writing wtih sensitivity and compassion lightened by ironic insight and humor. Most moving is his tale of a growing boy's love for a bedridden girl who is dying of tuberculosis. No morbidity here, only tragic beauty. On the other hand, Selzer's realism may shock some as he describes what goes on in a slaughterhouseyet that same realism makes absolutely compelling his detailed recapture of his stay with monks in an island monastery off Venice. Selzer lifts scientific description to a rare level, as in his story of the life cycle of a worm in a man's bowels. He caps his book with an unforgettable humanistic description of the work of a visiting crew of surgeons in Peru, where they correct the birth defects of Indian children come down from the Andes for the healing miracle. (September 18)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1986
Release date: 09/01/1986
Paperback - 194 pages - 978-0-87013-363-3
Paperback - 239 pages - 978-0-14-010305-2
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