cover image No Stranger to Tears: A Surgeon's Story

No Stranger to Tears: A Surgeon's Story

William G. Cahan. Random House (NY), $25 (426pp) ISBN 978-0-394-56518-7

This gossipy, slightly star-struck autobiography reveals the personal habits and suspicious moles of the rich and famous. Among those who consulted surgeon Cahan (too late it seems) at Manhattan's Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center: Alan Jay Lerner, Leonard Bernstein, Babe Paley, Babe Ruth, John Cazale, Mario Lanza and Melvyn Douglas. While Cahan had many occasions for tears during his four decades as an attending surgeon at Sloan-Kettering, he also recounts a lot of good times with various wives and girlfriends, including German reporter Inga Avrath, whose alleged lover John F. Kennedy here makes a cameo appearance in her apartment. Cahan's chronicle shows fortune being good to him as he proceeds from medical school through military service and research positions to posh parties where guests ask him to feel for lumps in their breasts. The book provides much entertainment and will also encourage readers to stop smoking. ( Sept. )