Diary Richard Selzer
- Publication date:
- 08 Mar 2011
- 256 pages: 235 x 156 x 23mm
Susan Cheever observed that Richard Selzer 'cares more about truth than consequences...and immerses us in the facts we all know but hate to admit' in her appraisal of his memoir "Down from Troy" in "The New York Times Book Review". "Selzer's Diary" picks up roughly where the memoir leaves off, as his writing life flourishes and surgical career ends. Stripped of the doctor-writer's 'privilege of walking about all day in the middle of a short story', Selzer shifts his focus to his interior life. In "Diary", the author's successes and regrets, as well as the humour and sadness that surround him, are revealed with the same empathy and vividness that made him one of the great doctor-writers of modern literature. "Diary" brings together stories and observations dashed off on park benches and in library carrels over the past decade. Following the success of such books as "Confessions of a Knife" and "The Doctor Stories", Selzer's diary entries recount life lived in the shadow of both achievement and disappointment. He introduces the 'loonies', a cadre of psychologically unstable fans who track him down at his usual haunts for advice and solace, and evokes the streets, buildings, and parks of Yale and New Haven with vibrancy and affection. The distinctive voice that paved the way for other notable doctor-writers like Jerome Groopman and Abraham Verghese is revealed here to be no less compelling with the spotlight turned on himself and the drama of everyday living.
Richard Selzer is a former surgeon and Yale School of Medicine professor. He has received many awards for his writing, including the National Magazine Award, the Pushcart Prize, and a Guggenheim fellowship. He is the author of several collections of stories and essays, including Mortal Lessons, Letters to a Young Doctor, and the account of his own recovery from Legionnaires' disease, Raising the Dead.
"A heroic translation . . . English-speaking readers can finally experience the diary as Gombrowicz intended it--as a single, coherent work . . . his major creative endeavor."--Ruth Franklin, "New Yorker"--Ruth Franklin "New Yorker "