Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures
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Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures

3.5 (8,441 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

An astonishing literary debut centred around four students as they apply to medical school, qualify as doctors and face the realities of working in medicine, from a powerful new voice in fiction.


In this beautifully written collection, Vincent Lam weaves together black humour, investigations of both common and extraordinary moral dilemmas, and a sometimes shockingly realistic portrait of today's medical profession. We are introduced to a group of medical students over ten years, following their interlinked stories as they make the transition from medical school to hospital life.


The stories span the unique challenges faced by young, inexperienced doctors - having to decide during a first human dissection whether it is more important to follow the anatomy textbook or keep a tattoo intact - but also delve into their private lives, their relationships and family histories, their fears and motivations.


Riveting, convincing and precise, `Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures' looks with rigorous honesty at the specificities of the lives of doctors and their patients and brings us to a deeper understanding of the challenges and temptations that surge around us all.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 400 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 23mm | 260g
  • HarperPerennial
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • edition
  • 0007263813
  • 9780007263813
  • 288,385

Flap copy

With their scalpel-sharp prose and unflinching gaze, the stories in Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures introduce a powerful new voice in Canadian fiction.
In Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures, Vincent Lam holds in delicate and skillful tension black humour, investigations of both common and extraordinary moral dilemmas, and a sometimes shockingly realistic and matter-of-fact portrait of today's medical profession.
He brings to vivid and convincing life the disparate but interdependent worlds of school and home, heartbreaking young love and life-altering fear in stories that introduce us to Fitz, Ming, Chen, and Sri, young medical school students and doctors in Toronto.
In "How To Get Into Medical School," the impulsive Fitz and the ultra-rational Ming explore the possibilities of a relationship that is tested, first by the vigilance of a disapproving family and then by the extraordinary commitment demanded of medical students. In "Take All of Murphy," three students face the challenge of their first dissection of a corpse -- and the unusual quandary of deciding whether following the anatomy textbook or keeping a tattoo intact is more important. And in "A Long Migration," perhaps the most lyrical of the stories, we see beyond Chen's immediate world into the past of his family, and in particular that of his grandfather. Once a high-living and flamboyant member of the Chinese expatriate community in Saigon before the Vietnam War, now Percival Chen is dying in a Brisbane retirement home, and his grandson's modern medical recommendations must make way for older potions that arrive for Percival from an older world.
Riveting and precise, Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures lookswith rigorous honesty at the specificities of the lives of doctors and their patients and brings us to a deeper understanding of the challenges and temptations that surge around us all.
Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures is an astonishing literary debut, a collection of mature and intricate stories connected through the relationships that develop among a group of young doctors as they move from the challenges of med school to the intense world of emergency rooms, evac missions, and terrifying new viruses.
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Review quote

'Direct in style, unsparing though compassionate in observation, subtle in emotion, and occasionally gruesome in humour, "Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures" follows four medical students from widely different backgrounds as their stories intertwine, as their illusions shatter, and as the meanings of many lives expand around them. The good news is that doctors are human beings. The bad news is that doctors are human beings. The other good news is that this book marks a stunning debut.' Margaret Atwood, upon introducing Lam at the Giller Prize presentation


'Reading about medical problems and what goes on in the emergency ward is just absolutely enthralling to all of us, but in this case it's much more than that - it's the characters and the movement and the ease of the storytelling that I just found so irresistible.' Alice Munro


`A masterly debut...incisive, clear prose as faultless as a carefully stitched suture.' Guardian


`Fresh and sparkling...almost every story here has the compulsive what-next charge of true drama beautifully carried by Lam's clear, understated, confident prose.' Sunday Times


`Scalpel sharp, as cool and polished as the steel of the mortuary table.' Financial Times


`There's no reason why "Bloodletting"...shouldn't become as big a hit in this country as it has been in Canada. Simply sit back, relax and enjoy the effortless charm of Lam's storytelling.' Scotsman
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About Vincent Lam

Dr Vincent Lam was born in London, Ontario. His family is from the expatriate Chinese community of Vietnam. He studied medicine in Toronto and is an emergency physician. He lives in Toronto with his wife and son. www.vincentlam.ca
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Rating details

8,441 ratings
3.5 out of 5 stars
5 15% (1,278)
4 37% (3,114)
3 34% (2,847)
2 11% (960)
1 3% (242)
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