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Literature & Medicine

Send proposals via mail or e-mail to:
Will Underwood
The Kent State University Press
1118 Library
Kent, OH 44242-0001 USA
wunderwo@kent.edu
Michael Blackie, Editor
Carol Donley and Martin Kohn, Founding Editors
The Literature and Medicine series focuses on the human context of illness and health through multiple genres; from poems, short stories, and drama to critical essays, memoirs, and historical accounts. Titles in the series are designed to provide students, educators, and health care professionals with key texts and strategies for humanities-based inquiry. We are particularly interested in multi-authored anthologies that present the diverse experiences of illness and healing, death and dying, and the normal and the pathological for use in classrooms and other educational settings.

Learning to Heal

, and | Filed under: Forthcoming, Literature & Literary Criticism, Literature & Medicine, Medicine
Cover image not yet available

What is it like to be a student nurse? What are the joys, the stresses, the transcendent moments, the fall-off-your-bed-laughing moments, and the terrors that have to be faced and stared down? And how might nurses, looking back, relate these experiences in ways that bring these memories to life again and provide historical context for how nursing education has changed and yet remained the same?

In brave, revealing, and often humorous poetry and prose, Learning to Heal explores these questions with contributions by nurses from a variety of social, ethnic, and geographical backgrounds. Readers meet a black nursing student who is surrounded by white teachers and patients in 1940, a mother who rises every morning at 5 a.m. to help her family ready for their day before she herself heads to anatomy class, and an itinerant Jewish teenager who is asked, “What will you become?” These individuals, and many other women and men, share personal stories of finding their way to nursing school, where they begin a long, often wonderful, and sometimes daunting, journey.

 


Human Voices Wake Us

| Filed under: Literature & Medicine, Medicine, Poetry, Recent Releases
Winakur Cover

Doctors today are struggling: debt, divorce, substance abuse, burnout, suicide. They succeed or fail on professional treadmills; patient encounters measured out with coffee spoons. The doctor-patient relationship is crumbling. Bureaucratic and corporate masters make their never-ending arguments of insidious intent. The overwhelming questions: Now where to turn? How do physicians—and their patients—avoid being crushed by the demands of science, of perfection, of expectations? How do we recover the awe we once felt in this world in which we expend our life force every day? How can we find joy once more?

 


Keeping Reflection Fresh

and | Filed under: Literature & Medicine, Recent Releases
Peterkin Cover

Curriculum committees at health professional schools are determined that faculty engage students in reflection. Reflective practice invites students to inquire into their own thoughts, biases, assumptions, feelings, and behaviors and to reconnect with their own sense of purpose and commitment to their work. In Keeping Reflection Fresh, practitioners, educators, and students in medical humanities, bioethics, nursing, emergency medicine, geriatrics, psychiatry, family medicine, surgery, medical education, and other fields join artists, musicians, poets, and writers to present an illuminating and innovative collection of provocative essays. The contributors—including Louise Aronson, Jay Baruch, Alan Bleakley, Rita Charon, Jack Coulehan, Sayantani DasGupta, Therese Jones, and Delese Wear, among many others—offer insights, guidance, and strategies designed to inspire new concepts, connections, and conversations, enrich practices, and stimulate scholarly inquiry.

 


Mysterious Medicine

| Filed under: Literature & Literary Criticism, Literature & Medicine, Medicine, Recent Releases
Dunn cover

Nathaniel Hawthorne and Edgar Allan Poe were masters of mystery and fantasy, but they also engaged real controversies surrounding individual health, health care practice, and biomedical research in nineteenth-century America. During this volatile era, when mesmerists, phrenologists, and other pseudoscientists reigned and “regular” physicians were just beginning to consolidate power, Hawthorne and Poe provided important critiques of experimental and often haphazard systems of care, as well as insights into the evolving understanding of mental and physical pathologies. As writers, they responded to the social, historical, and medical forces of their own time, yet they also addressed themes of bioethics, humanism, and patient-centered care that remain relevant in the twenty-first century.

 


What’s Left Out

| Filed under: Fiction, Literature & Medicine, Medicine
baruch cover

Conventional medical narratives often fail to capture the incoherent, surreal, and logic-twisting reality of the contemporary healthcare experience, where mystery, absurdity, and even cruelty are disguised as logic, reason, and compassion. In this new collection of stories by physician and writer Jay Baruch, characters struggle in their quest for meaning and a more hopeful tomorrow in a strange landscape where motivations are complex and convoluted and what is considered good and just operates as a perpetually shifting proposition.

 


When the Nurse Becomes a Patient

| Filed under: Literature & Medicine, Medicine
Davis cover

In the summer of 2013, Cortney Davis, a nurse practitioner and author who often writes about her interactions with patients, underwent routine one-day surgery. A surgical mishap led to a series of life-altering and life-threatening complications, resulting in two prolonged hospital stays and a lengthy recovery. During twenty-six days in the hospital, Davis experienced how suddenly a caregiver can become a care receiver and what it’s like to be “on the other side of the sickbed.” As a nurse, she was accustomed to suffering and to the empathy such witnessing can evoke, but as a patient she learned new and transforming lessons in pain, fear, loneliness, abandonment, and dependency; in the fragility of health and life; in the necessity of family support; and, ultimately, in the importance of gratitude.

 


The Widows’ Handbook

and | Filed under: Literature & Medicine
Lapidus cover

The Widows’ Handbook is the first anthology of poems by contemporary widows, many of whom have written their way out of solitude and despair, distilling their strongest feelings into poetry or memoir. This stirring collection celebrates the strategies widows learn and the resources they muster to deal with people, living space, possessions, social life, and especially themselves, once shock has turned to the realization that nothing will ever be the same. As Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg says in her foreword, losing one’s partner is “a loss like no other.”

 



This is a series archive