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Granta 120: Medicine (Granta #120)

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  106 ratings  ·  24 reviews
Clinicians have spent centuries perfecting the art of tending broken bodies. What happens when their medicine fails us? Where do we turn for healing of the body and the mind? In this wide-ranging collection of essays, memoir, poetry and photography, Granta magazine explores the mind of the physician, the plight of the patient and the maladies that bring us together. From a ...more
ebook, 272 pages
Published August 1st 2012 by Granta Magazine
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4.5 stars
This is the first time I felt compelled to finish the whole Granta volume. I can't really explain why but from the first story that I picked up, I knew I would enjoy the language and the writing in this particular volume. Again, this hasn't happened to me before (and I have about 5 tomes of the Granta lying around). I can't say if there is anything truly extraordinary about it or if it just happens to appeal to me personally, but I loved how unifying and powerful the theme of medicine
A mixed bag, as usual, but that's part of the appeal.

I smiled at the return of Robert Merrivale, and am looking forward to Rose Tremain's new novel, but on the whole it was the non-fiction which appealed most.Particularly moving were Linda H Davies' Randy and Mummy at the Drawbridge and M J Hyland's Hardy Animal. I was impressed by the practising doctors' writing: (for which read jealous of such polymaths!) Ike Anya's People Don’t Get Depressed in Nigeria and Terrence Holt's The Perfect Code. O
I received this subscription again from a friend for my birthday and this was the first edition. Oof. An entire analysis of "Medicine" also means an entire analysis of death and mortality. While it might be cliche to say this, it was pretty depressing. The story on the woman struggling with acceptance of her MS was powerful but achingly sad. The poems, while lovely, were dark. Even the first story, which was excellently crafted, seemed tinged with sadness. At many instances, I had to put it down ...more
A melange of essays and fictional pieces centered around everything medical: diseases, death, patients and clinicians that I found to be continuously surprising. While they are punctuated by (almost) incomprehensible but curious little poems and evocative artwork, one's bound to find wrapped up in atleast one of the many longfiction/non-fiction accounts here.

For me the beginning piece by Chris Adrian titled Grand Rounds was the best. Written like a lecture from a dais by a voluble, jet-lagged h
A great compilation of short stories and poems about medicine from the perspective of both physician and patient. My favorite story was "People Don't Get Depressed in Nigeria." In it, the physician reflects on how the old stereotype of depression as being largely a Western illness does not hold up through his account of a patient with post-partum depression. Aside from the story-telling, the artwork in Granta is wonderful as well.
I've long been a fan of the idea of Granta, but have not until now found an issue that really spoke to me. As soon as I saw that this was the theme of the issue, I knew I was going to love it, and I had the pleasure of being right. The first story was pitch perfect, and it set the stage beautifully for what followed. Really wonderful.
This is my second volume of Granta, especially close to my heart this time. A somewhat mixed bag, though the best stories are very good.

I personally liked Hardy Animal (as a personal account of living with MS), The Cutting (for a sense of the macabre), and Night (for the atmosphere and strangeness). It was the last two stories that really had power though, for the fiction of Philanthropy and the emotion of Randy and Mummy at the Drawbridge (probably my favourite in the collection).

The only dud
First introductions to:

1. Chris Adrian (one slight mention of a boyfriend, and my head was sent into a tailspin....the rest of the story is a bit off-kilter too, moreso as it describes a moment when one cannot be, giving a pubic presentation....then narrator can't seem to focus well enough due to the trauma that had just happened....the story continues to reel out of control by the end)

2. Gish Jen (intrigued by two Asian-American brothers, intergenerational themes, the mother clutching at her pu
The only Granta I've read cover to cover - all great, but the two pieces that stuck with me are The Perfect Code, Terrence Holt and Night, Alice Munro.
Victoria Grigg
There were several startlingly good stories/extracts in this anthology. M. J. Hyland's memoir about her multiple sclerosis was outstanding.
William Taeusch
Read Chris Adrian's short story, Grand Rounds. Spectacular.
Susan Emmet
Another sterling copy of Granta, this time dedicated to medicine. Viewpoints include those of doctor, patient, other sorts of healers, set in a host of places - Nigeria, New York, England.
Was especially struck by Chris Adrian's "Grand Rounds," MJ Hyland's "Hardy Animal," and the collection of Victorian and modern photographs from Brad Feuerhelm's work/archive.
So many sights trained on the what works - and fails miserably - in modern medicine and other parts of life.
Lane Anderson
Medicine was one of my least favourite Grantas so far. That's not to say it wasn't good, but it didn't measure up to the standard of greatness I have come to expect with every issue.

Usually the stories and poems are related to the theme in more creative and subtle ways. But in this issue, nearly every piece is about disease. The lack of diversity in subject matter made it a sludgy read for me. Needless to say, it's still worth picking up; it's Granta.
Christianne Hedtke
Favourites from this issue: Chris Adrian's "Grand Rounds" (very funny / effed up) and Suzanne Rivecca's "Philanthropy" was amazing. There are also a few great first-person essays about dealing with heart attacks, MS, and Linda H. Davis's very straightforward account of dying of non-Hotchkin's lymphoma while worrying about her special-needs son's future. ("Randy and Mummy at the Drawbridge."

I liked Semezdin Mehmedinović's contemplation of the mundane and his mortality. Suzanne Rivecca's amazing piece that captures the gulf between the social worker and the do-gooder socialite, and the unpredictable measure of that gulf. And James Lasdun's Blueberries presented to us as we end our blueberry season here. These stood out for me.
Every story took me places where I rarely go.
Good issue that offers perspectives about medicine and illness from physicians and patients alike. From Chris Adrian's story of a physician falling apart under a lecture to Linda Davis' expression of her fears and hopes for her autistic son as she considers her own mortality, I was caught up in the narratives, sometimes uncomfortably, but always compelled to read on.
Fiction and non-fiction stories/poems - physical ailments, mental ailments. For this layperson, I found this to be an enjoyable read (except for the first story, which I couldn't get into).
A thoughtfully curated collection of writing around the theme 'medicine' including short stories, moving essays and a fascinating collection of photographs. Not a dud piece in there.
A mixed bag. Not the strongest Granta - at times the pieces seemed to stretch the theme a little too far. The Tremain, Munro and Hyland parts stood out for me.
Mr. Davies
Definitely a couple of standout stories -- I especially liked the non-fiction entries by Hyland and Medmedinovic.
A rag bag collection but all of it worth a read-so far-my favorite is People don't get depressed in Nigeria
Sarah westcott
This is a corker. The human condition writ large from many perspectives. I loved it
Great writing throughout this one
Mediocre, disappointing.
Megan Hoover
Megan Hoover marked it as to-read
Jun 27, 2015
Tracey added it
Jun 09, 2015
Kwesi 章英狮
Kwesi 章英狮 marked it as to-read
Jun 01, 2015
Karine marked it as to-read
May 20, 2015
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Granta magazine was founded in 1889 by students at Cambridge University as The Granta, a periodical of student politics, student badinage and student literary enterprise, named after the river that runs through the town. In this original incarnation it had a long and distinguished history, publishing the early work of many writers who later became well known, including A. A. Milne, Michael Frayn, ...more
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