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The Health Humanities and Camus’s The Plague

Literature & Medicine, Recent Releases

DescriptionUsing Camus’s classic novel as a touchstone for health humanities education

Camus’s The Plague, first published in 1947, is widely regarded as a classic of 20th-century fiction and as an interesting point of reference for the field of health humanities. Woods Nash’s edited collection of essays by diverse hands explores how The Plague illuminates important themes, ideas, dilemmas, and roles in modern healthcare, helping readers—and particularly medical students and professionals—understand issues related to their training and practice in a dramatic and stimulating context.

The essays here represent various disciplinary and personal perspectives. Nash’s compilation is intended as a companion text for undergraduate and graduate courses such as Narrative Medicine, Human Suffering, and Pathographies of Epidemics, as well as traditional courses like the History of Medicine, Bioethics, Medical Ethics, and Literature and Medicine, which are offered increasingly in schools of medicine, public health, nursing, and dentistry.

A wide-ranging collection, this book will be useful for students and scholars in literature, philosophy, and cultural studies, as well as to all those in the healthcare field.

“Albert Camus has found his medical Boswell in Woods Nash. The Health Humanities and Camus’s The Plague is a brilliant study of one of the best books ever written on epidemics and society. It is a volume of superb essays to savor and treasure.” —Howard Markel, author of The Kelloggs: The Battling Brothers of Battle Creek.

EditorWoods Nash teaches at the University of Houston. His work has appeared in the Journal of Medical Humanities, Literature and Medicine, the Journal of Graduate Medical Education, and Catalyst: A Social Justice Forum, among others.