When deciding to pick a book of short stories for our February Book of the Month, we turned to a modern classic: Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri. Lahiri writes tenderly and fiercely of family, marriage, society, and the immigrant experience.
Atul Gawande has been many things: Rhodes scholar, husband, father, journalist, surgeon, political advisor, and author. His writings show that he is as thoughtful as he is meticulous.
In Being Mortal, doctor and writer Atul Gawande discusses end-of-life care. He takes us through the history of gerontology, assisted living, and provides countless sets of data and anecdotes. Through it all, Gawande says that the medical community as well as patients’ families treat patients as subjects rather than as human beings.
Dolen Perkins-Valdez follows the rabbit hole of historical footnotes, adds robust, nuanced characters, rhythmic dialogue, and intricate subtexts, and produces some of the best historical fiction around. She took the time to speak to me about both books over the phone, while she was visiting her home state of Tennessee.