Things Taken (Isabel Hoskins)

Summary: A woman undergoes a hysterectomy to treat ovarian cancer. Though grateful for her survival, she spends her days thereafter mourning the loss of her menstrual periods - "[rhythms], predictable and cyclical and intimate". It was October, the thick middle of autumn, when I had my last period. I remember that I bled onto newly … Continue reading Things Taken (Isabel Hoskins)

Jean Beckie (William Carlos Williams)

DURING A TIME like this, they kid a lot among the doctors and nurses on the obstetrical floor because of the rushing business in new babies that's pretty nearly always going on up there. It's the Depression, they say, nobody has any money so they stay home nights. But one bad result of this is … Continue reading Jean Beckie (William Carlos Williams)

Communion (Richard B. Weinberg, MD)

I am not an intimidating person, but I found my last patient of the day huddled in the comer of the examining room, as if awaiting an executioner. She was in her midtwenties, and she clutched a sheaf of medical records against her chest like a shield. She had made the appointment to our clinic herself. The face … Continue reading Communion (Richard B. Weinberg, MD)

The Egg and the Sperm (Emily Martin)

The theory of the human body is always a part of a world-picture.... The theory of the human body is always a part of a fantasy. [JAMES HILLMAN, The Myth of Analysis] As an anthropologist, I am intrigued by the possibility that culture shapes how biological scientists describe what they discover about the natural world. … Continue reading The Egg and the Sperm (Emily Martin)

Learning Genetics (Sharon F Terry)

Finding sparse, uncoordinated research on their children’s rare disease, a couple starts their own organization to jumpstart hopes for the future. by Sharon F. Terry PREFACE: The promise that genetics holds for improving the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of disease is staggering if not yet fully realized. Such hopes are based on the successful mapping … Continue reading Learning Genetics (Sharon F Terry)

Letter of 1812 (Fanny Burney)

Married to a Frenchman and living in Paris in 1811, the novelist and playwright Fanny Burney discovered that she had a tumour of the breast. After considerable hesitation (to the very last, as we shall read) she agreed to have an operation. In this hair-raising journal letter sent to her sister Esther (it would have … Continue reading Letter of 1812 (Fanny Burney)

Ancient Gentility (William Carlos Williams)

In those days I was about the only doctor they would have on Guinea Hill. Nowadays some of the kids I delivered then may be practising medicine in the neighborhood. But in those days I had them all. I got to love those people, they were all right. Italian peasants from the region just south … Continue reading Ancient Gentility (William Carlos Williams)

My Most Humiliating Jim Crow Experience (Zora Neale Hurston)

MY most humiliating Jim Crow experience came in New York instead of the South as one would have expected. It was in 1931 when Mrs. R Osgood Mason was financing my researched in anthropology. I returned to New York from the Bahama Islands ill with some disturbances of the digestive tract. Godmother (Mrs. Mason liked … Continue reading My Most Humiliating Jim Crow Experience (Zora Neale Hurston)