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Granta 120: Medicine (Granta: The Magazine of New Writing) [Paperback]

John Freeman
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

23 Aug 2012 Granta: The Magazine of New Writing (Book 120)
From the chalky horse-pills of faceless pharmaceutical conglomerates to the hot toddy that was Grandmother's remedy for bruised knees, broken hearts and everything besides, here are stories about the ways we face our ailments and the ways we seek to cure ourselves. Rose Tremain contributes an extract from Merivel, a follow-up to her award-winning Restoration; Alice Munro writes a haunting, beautiful memoir about a strange phase in her childhood; Gish Jen tells a story about two brothers who are fixing up a house . . . but can't quite fix up the ageing parents who will live in it. The issue includes new poetry by Ben Lerner, Angela Carter, James Lasdun and Kay Ryan as well as non-fiction pieces by Terrence Holt and a M.J. Hyland, who breaks her silence about living with MS.

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Granta 120: Medicine (Granta: The Magazine of New Writing) + Granta 122: Betrayal (Granta: The Magazine of New Writing) + Granta 119: Britain (Granta: The Magazine of New Writing)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Granta Publications Ltd (23 Aug 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905881614
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905881611
  • Product Dimensions: 14.8 x 1.7 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 293,520 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

John Freeman has been editor of Granta since 2009. He is the author of The Tyranny of E-mail and former president of the National Book Critics Circle. His criticism has appeared in The New York Times, the Guardian and the Independent. His poetry has appeared in The New Yorker.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By Eileen Shaw TOP 1000 REVIEWER
In this quarter's Granta there is a stunning article by M J Hyland about being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, which is incurable and often progressive. She Googles `Dignitas', plastic bags and `Exit'. She describes the medical necessities with both dignity and a kind of ironic calm. This is M J Hyland coming out as an MS sufferer. She doesn't look disabled, yet, and she and her boyfriend have taught the computer's voice recognition to swear, and cancelled her pact with dying. It is hard just to leave it there, but anyone, especially her readers, will wish her well,

A marvellous excerpt by Rose Tremain - is it from Restoration?, covers a surgeon's removal of a cancerous growth. In those days it was a massive gamble with life - the subject is only partly anaesthetised, though she is out for a good part of the operation. It was done in her own home - an unnerving thought, but the prognosis is hopeful. There is also a beautiful story from Alice Munro - so calmly understated and slight, yet full of portent and understanding.

Brad Feuerhelm's 'found' collection of photographs is endlessly fascinating, showing marked bodies, x-rays, a shrunken head, elastic-limbed girls, a small boy with hair on his face and forehead, and skeletons posed around a man in bed. This is followed by Terence Holt's The Perfect Code which tells of an emergency response team and a patient called John Mongay who is brought in with a broken neck, Holt has a vague memory from medical school aligned to the first and second breaks in his vertebrae, the term `hangman's fracture' comes to mind. What's more there is an ectopy - a displaced heart-beat. The patient was given something called a halo, which supported his broken neck and he was later able to describe tripping up on the pavement and falling.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great collection 21 Nov 2012
By Eleanor TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Issue 120 of Granta is entitled "Medicine", although in fact the essays, stories, poems, and photographs in this collection often have more to do with the ways the body or mind can fail rather than the treatment offered. I found almost every single piece in here enjoyable, compelling, and fascinating.

In non-fiction M. J. Hyland writes about her diagnosis and gradual acceptance of MS, a disease she kept hidden from her friends and colleagues for quite some time. Bosnian author Semezdin Mehmedinovic describes his heart attack, and, from the other side, doctor Terrence Holt contributes an essay about 'the perfect code'. This piece has all the excitement of an episode of ER and contains some poignant reflections on modern life-saving medicine. Ike Anya offers a snapshot of life in an impoverished clinic in Northern Nigeria, whilst Linda H. Davis movingly and lovingly describes life with her autistic son, and her fears for the future following her own cancer diagnosis.

In fiction I particularly enjoyed Susan Rivecca's 'Philanthropy', a story about a women's clinic that grabs you with its power and honesty, 'Night' by Alice Munro, and an extract from Rose Tremain's Merivel: A Man of His Time which describes a seventeenth-century operation for breast cancer. Chris Adrian, a doctor himself, gives us a story in the form of a medical lecturer's monologue, which is both blackly funny and increasingly disturbing. 'The Former Mayor's Ancient Daughter' by the Israeli writer Rachel Shihor is a lovely half-page vignette which begins "With us in the nursing home lives the ancient daughter of the former mayor, and every week her old manicurist comes to see her, like an emissary from her previous life.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great collection 1 Mar 2013
By Jake - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
really interesting and intriguing collection of short fiction and poetry. well worth the purchase, especially for anyone interested in writing exploring the complexities of medicine and health care
5.0 out of 5 stars Grand Rounds 21 May 2014
By H. W. Taeusch - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
I too have given grand rounds and wish Scotty could have beamed me up. Adrian's short story is a hoot, akin to Updike's grreat story of a teacher in The Centaur describing all of the earth's history in a one hour class to a group of adolescents. Adrian describes in delicious detail the worsening of one of the worst nightmares of academic medicine. It is a tour de force. On it's own it's worth at least a year's subscription to Granta.
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