metro mama

Monday, December 04, 2006

Metro Recommends: Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures

Dr. Vincent Lam’s Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures is the winner of the 2006 Giller Prize. The connected short stories follow the intersecting lives of four doctors, from pre-med to their careers as physicians. The stories are narrated from various perspectives, including the doctors as well as the supporting characters: a psychiatric patient becoming increasingly paranoid; a women undergoing an emergency c-section; a nurse during the SARS crisis.

Unaffected and honest, the collection is an arresting glimpse into the world of medicine. The stories are unflinching—Lam doesn’t shrink away from the dark side of the medical profession. His characters are fallible, human, and real.

32-year old Lam is a Toronto emergency room physician. He was a ship doctor on an Arctic cruise where he met Margaret Atwood who became his mentor. Atwood introduced the book at the Giller ceremony and told the audience, "doctors and fiction-writers both deal in extreme events, both have their fingers on the pulse of life and death, and neither is squeamish about gore on the floor." Squeamish, Lam is not.

The $40,000 Giller prize is Canada’s most prestigious literary award. Last year's winner was Winnipeg novelist David Bergen for The Time in Between, the story of a haunted man who returns to Vietnam where he fought in the war 28 years earlier (read my review here. Alice Munro, who sat on this year’s jury, won the award in 2004 for Runaway.

Vincent Lam is married and the father of a two-year old son. He lives in Toronto and is working on his first novel, due out in 2007.

He’s inspired me—if a doctor and father of a toddler can find the time to write a book, maybe I can too.

Don’t you love a success story like this!


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Thanks to everyone who voted for me in CBAs. Your votes made me feel good. Congrats to the winner, Kristin of Debaucherous and Dishevelled.

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7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had a c-section during the SARS crisis! I love reading your reviews.

I was totally convinced you were going to win because you rock!

12:05 PM  
Blogger sunshine scribe said...

You do write the best reviews.

And I too thought you'd be a winner. As I said at my place, must be a Lindsay thang ... let's go out for a drink and celebrate our non-win!

1:36 PM  
Blogger Haley-O said...

Ditto what Sunshine said (and what I said at MommyBlogsToronto). :) You are the best reviewer!

I wish I had more time to read, let alone to right....

1:49 PM  
Anonymous mamatulip said...

I have to agree...your reviews are great, both film and book. I wanted to see Volver before; I *really* want to see it now.

Congrats on being nominated...your blog is great. I'm so glad I found you.

2:20 PM  
Blogger penelopeto said...

loving this book, though some of it makes me a wee bit queasy.
congrats on making it so far on the blog awards.

2:26 PM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

You deserve big props on the awards - though as you know, I think the real measure of a blog is the amazingness of its readers. And you've got some AWESOME readers (ahem).

11:09 PM  
Blogger Domestic Slackstress said...

Congrats on your nomination. You should feel good. You deserve it. Loving your stuff.

11:59 PM  

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