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I Knew a Woman: Four Women Patients and Their Female Caregiver
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I Knew a Woman: Four Women Patients and Their Female Caregiver

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  88 ratings  ·  18 reviews
"I cannot ignore the reality of the body, its glorious beginnings and its subtle endings," writes Cortney Davis in this intimate and startlingly original account of her work at a women's clinic. A poet and nurse-practitioner with twenty five years' experience, Davis reveals the beauty of the body's workings by unfolding the lives of four patients who struggle with its natu ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published June 25th 2002 by Ballantine Books (first published 2001)
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Jared Della Rocca
When I was 10, I helped my older sister teach a computer class for kids at my local public library. This was the second we had done, and essentially we'd choose an educational computer game for kids, show them how to play, work as a group through it, and then give them a chance to play themselves. It was for 9-10 year old kids, and ran for a few weeks each summer. My sister, 16 at the time, did most of the teaching. I was only there because I knew the games and how to play them.

The game we were
Shay Caroline
"I Knew A Woman" is one of the best books I've read in a long time. I always enjoy reading books on medical subjects, but this one was special. The subtitle at Goodreads is "Four Women Patients and Their Female Caregiver", but on my copy it's "The Experience Of The Female Body." In any event, the book is written by a nurse practitioner at a women's clinic, who also happens to be a poet with two volumes of poetry to her credit. The result is beautiful writing about women; as patients, as caregive ...more
This book was good until it sucked. The stream of smug, "tsk-tsk"ing condescension veiled in "concern" for her patients was like a dripping faucet that went from unnoticeable to distracting to driving me to put this book down before I finished it. I work in a very similar clinical situation as Ms. Davis--in the Bronx, with women under the age of 21 who are pregnant, often undocumented, often not in school, etc. I would write that I struggle every day to not make assumptions about them and to see ...more
I think I wanted to like this book more than I actually did like it. (I guess I'm still stuck in a reading-about-medicine phase, which is odd, considering that I've never had any desire to go into medicine.)

I felt, reading this book, as though I didn't actually get a sense of who the author was. I got a sense of how she wanted to present herself - caregiver, tuned into her body and her patients' bodies and, you know, such a good caring nurse practitioner. That didn't tell me who she was, though,
Recommended to me by my mother, who at the time shared her profession with the author, an OBGYN nurse practitioner.

The story interweaves 4 fictional accounts of the author's relationship with four different female patients, inspired by a collage of her real-life patient's experiences.

I especially loved reading the experience of a Female Healthcare provider, knowing what it's like to spend your life treating women in such an intimate yet brief and removed way.

It gave me a better picture of what
Alli Lawrence
Great for women providing healthcare to women
Julie Graber
One of the most elegantly written books I've ever read (you can tell that the author is also a poet). This is the reality of women's lives and their struggles to manage their reproductive health in addition to their day to day lives. Could not put it down when I read it years ago and still remember it as one of the bests I've read.
Oct 12, 2009 Abby rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Abby by: Ruth Sosnowski's bachlorette weekend
This book was written by an OBGYN nurse practitioner at a free clinic. It focuses on 4 main characters that all grip your heart with their stories. It was powerful and amazing. Every woman should read this book. Highly reccomended.
Beverley Brakeman
Great book - medical, spiritual and totally human.
Cortney Davis, a nurse practioner, writes about women - her patients - and the hopes and fears they have which reflect themselves in their bodies. A frank and touching book. A wonderful read for any woman.
It is ok and a good book for women to learn about how they work and also the sad lives that are out there. The book makes me feel good about the choices I have made.
May 02, 2008 Bree rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Bree by: Brittany Bornn
This is an amazing book! The writing is phenomenal, the stories touching and inspirational - simply one of the best books I've read in a long time.
Dawn Meyers
Good book. Written by a nurse practicioner in an inner city clinic about her relationship and interactions with her patients.
Great fictionalize/non-fiction account of what it is like to be a women's health nurse practitioner.
Heather Richard
Lovely. The life of a WNP and her patients. Some excruciatingly beautiful moments in here....
Courtney Davis is proof that medical professionals can provide holistic care to their patients.
A wonderful book for any health care providers who work with women.
Enjoyed this one!
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