Tag Archives: Winter 2018

The journey into the blue

Annette Tuffs Heidelberg, Germany   Alfred Doblin, Copyright S. Fischer Verlag “And when I came back – I did not return. You are never the same person you were, when you left.” Thus wrote Alfred Döblin (1878-1957) in 1946, in the newspaper Badische Zeitung in Freiburg,1 a few months after ending his forced absence of […]

Family encounters with pathogens 100 years apart

Meredith Wright New York City, New York, United States   Photo of the author’s great-grandmother, Anna, and Anna’s memoir. The memoir was organized by Anna’s daughter Fortunata and has become an important part of the family’s history. Original photograph by Meredith Wright, 2018. After my mother died, I became obsessed with preserving family memories and […]

Death and dignity – a lesson learned from my father

Dhastagir Sheriff Chennai, Tennessee, India   Late President of India Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam “Life Levels All. Death Reveals the Eminent and Dignified” I was working as a professor of biochemistry and as the vice-principal of faculty at the Ambedkar Medical College in Bangalore. It was a welcome change after working in Libya for ten […]

Healing in post-genocide Rwanda

Vigneshwar Subramanian Nivetha Subramanian Cleveland, Ohio, United States   The Apotheosis of War, Vasily Vereshchagin (1871) In April 1994, one of the largest genocides since the Holocaust erupted in Rwanda as the Hutu ethnic majority conducted a targeted slaughter of the Tutsi people.1 In a span of just over 100 days, over 800,000 people were killed.2 […]

Welcome another Earth-dweller

Ndembou C. Jean-Louis Bafut, Cameroon    Maternity ward of Bafut District Hospital, 2017 “Doctor, we have a thirty-eight-year-old lady, recently injured, having difficulties bearing down. And her baby’s heart rate is not the best,” a harried sounding nurse gushed over the phone. I groaned inwardly and reassured her I would arrive at the maternity ward […]

“Marvailous Cures”: sympathetic medicine connecting Europe and China

Richard de Grijs Sydney, Australia Daniel Vuillermin Beijing, China   Application of a powder of sympathy. Source: Tentzel A (ed) 1662 Theatrum Sympatheticum Auctum (Nuremberg: Johann Andreas Endter & the Heirs  of Wolfgang Endter Jr), p 125 (Reproduced with permission, Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel, 30.4 Med.: VD17 23:290712A.) In Renaissance Europe the concept of curing illnesses […]

The hidden history of Lomidine

Sophia Newman Chicago, Illinois, United States   The shot against sleeping sickness brought me so many problems The shot against sleeping sickness hurt me so… They pricked me in the back… And still, they want to send me to draw water If I try to slow my step The policeman hits me on the head […]

A story of the oppressed

Donia Khafaga Cairo, Egypt   A powerful representation of women’s oppression International Organization of Human Rights: www.ishr.org Writers often use their novels as a social commentary to criticize a certain cultural context and advocate for change. Today women are still trying to attain equality and freedom. In many Arab countries, men are endowed with freedom […]

Trauma vicariously: a writer’s madness

Kirsten Fogg Toronto, Ontario, Canada   The author, Kirsten Fogg, at the State Library of Queensland, Brisbane Australia. It started with a lump in my throat. Actually, it started before that. Last year when I embarked on a project gathering stories of belonging, I tried to be witty and philosophical by quoting author Ben Okri. […]

The education of Doctor Chekhov

Jack Coulehan Stony Brook, New York, USA   Chekov as a medical student October 1883. A fifth-year medical student at Moscow State University agonizes over his upcoming exam. “Woe is me!” he writes to his older brother, “I am forced to learn almost everything from the beginning… cadavers to be worked on, clinical studies, making […]