A debut essay collection of remarkable breadth and erudition by a young Pakistani American doctor and writer. "Wry and smart."―The New York Times Book Review
During the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, Selina Mahmood―in the middle of the first year of a neurology residency―found scraps of time between grueling shifts to write. The resulting collection is her personal and meticulous chronicle of an unprecedented year in medicine. It's also the debut of a young and uncommon talent.
In the tradition of Oliver Sacks and Paul Kalanithi, Dr. Mahmood takes the science of neurology and spins it into poetry, exploring theories of the mind, Pakistani-American identity, immigration, family, the history of medicine, and, of course, the challenges of becoming a physician in the midst of a global health crisis. Skipping nimbly across continents and drawing inspiration from an array of sources ranging from Thomas Edison to Yuval Harari to Beyonc , she has crafted an elegant, incisive, and utterly original investigation. As Salon put it, this book is "A profound, moving and unfiltered account of not just a frontline worker's experience at an unprecedented moment, but a story of family and identity, of pop songs and PPE."
A must-read for anyone seeking insight into the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as a broader understanding of our universal search for meaning.