- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (May 27, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0143113666
- ISBN-13: 978-0143113669
- Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.7 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 72 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #161,687 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Body of Work: Meditations on Mortality from the Human Anatomy Lab Paperback – May 27, 2008
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a Eloquent and persuasive. . . . The author dissects her own emotions as deftly as she does . . . the cadaver, her pen as revelatory as her scalpel.a
a"The New York Times Book Review"
aAn exceptionally thoughtful memoir . . . [a] beautiful book.a
a"The Washington Post"
aUnflinching . . . insightful . . . sparklingly lucid.a
Eloquent and persuasive. . . . The author dissects her own emotions as deftly as she does . . . the cadaver, her pen as revelatory as her scalpel.
"The New York Times Book Review"
An exceptionally thoughtful memoir . . . [a] beautiful book.
"The Washington Post"
Unflinching . . . insightful . . . sparklingly lucid.
? Eloquent and persuasive. . . . The author dissects her own emotions as deftly as she does . . . the cadaver, her pen as revelatory as her scalpel.?
?"The New York Times Book Review"
?An exceptionally thoughtful memoir . . . [a] beautiful book.?
?"The Washington Post"
?Unflinching . . . insightful . . . sparklingly lucid.?
About the Author
Christine Montross is a practicing inpatient psychiatrist and an assistant professor of psychiatry and human behavior at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. She lives in Providence, Rhode Island.
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The author also includes some background on the history of dissection. Apparently, an Italian named Vesalius was the dude who really got the whole ball rolling in medical dissection around 1594. She explains the difficulties Vesalius confronted by going against the decrees of the Pope as well as getting their hands on corpses to filet and examine. The profitable field of illegal grave-robbing and cutting into dead bodies at various stages of decomposition back in the good ole days makes today's anatomy dissection classes certainly seem like a veritable walk in the park. Ms. Montross also examines the different ways cultures view the practice of using dead bodies for medical research as well as the history of some of the silly superstitions and practices involved. There are also snippets of personal medical cases that highlight some of the difficult situations such as a man dying of Lou Gehrig's disease. The author's story about the declining health of her grandparents was especially tender and touching.
The book has a lot of heart and soul to it. Ms. Montross struggles with the unnatural act of cutting open and dismembering even a dead body. The memoir was well written, immensely informative about an area of medical education I hadn't ever really thought about, and darned right entertaining. Some descriptions caused me to squirm and made it painfully obvious I wouldn't be cut out (pun intended... Sorry) for this profession. You will learn a little about the anatomy but the memoir is more about the difficulties in entering into this most challenging of professions. It is beautifully written, highly entertaining, thought-provoking, and well worth reading.