Thursday, February 11, 2010

Narrative Nonfiction

I've been reading a lot of narrative nonfiction lately, and enjoying it a great deal. There's a real art to telling true stories in a compelling way.

Two recent titles I've read are Hurry Down Sunshine: A Memoir by Michael Greenberg, and A Nurse's Story: Life, Death and In-Between in an Intensive Care Unit by Tilda Shalof.

Hurry Down Sunshine tells the extraordinary story of the summer when the author's fifteen year old daughter was struck with a mental illness and the psychological journey, including her hospitalization, that the two of them take. It's a fascinating, touching and well-told story.

A Nurse's Story is equally rivetting and full of the kind of information my mother, a nursing instructor, used to love to shock us with at the dinner table. (Maybe she wasn't trying to shock us, but we were shocked nonetheless. :-) In this book, I learned about the life and death decisions ICU nurses have to make every day.

Both books were helpful to me when the youngest member of our family was recently hospitalized with double pneumonia. I'm very happy to say he is now home and doing well, and we are grateful for the excellent medical care he received.

Thanks to these two books for helping me understand the important work that healthcare professionals perform on a daily basis.

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