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Thomas Fisher’s new book, “The Emergency,” chronicles his life as an emergency room physician at the University of Chicago Medical Center, where he spent 20 years. It provides a close-up view of a hospital during the pandemic and also zooms out to address the systemic issues plaguing the US healthcare system.
“This book was conceptualized before Covid,” Fisher says in this week’s podcast. “But Covid has exposed so much of what I wanted to discuss from the start. So in some ways it was strangely coincidental. It gave the opportunity to discuss many of the details in much more vivid relief as we had this pandemic setting out all the things that had been a problem for so long.”
Critic and essayist Maud Newton’s first book, “Ancestor Trouble,” chronicles her investigations into her family’s fascinating and sometimes disturbing history and reflects on our culture’s increased obsession with genealogy.
“Allowing ourselves to really imagine our ancestors, in all their fullness — the difficult and bad things they did, and of course the wonderful things they did — can just be a truly transformative experience,” says Newton. “I’ve come to find that the line between imagination and spirituality has become much more porous in the course of writing this book.”
Also on this week’s episode, Dwight Garner and Molly Young talk about books they’ve recently reviewed. John Williams is the landlord.
We’d love to hear what you think about this episode, and about the Book Review podcast in general. You can send them to books.†