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Thread: What is a Medical Memoir?

  1. #1
    practical experience, FTW Luzoni's Avatar
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    Question What is a Medical Memoir?

    What's the difference between a standard run of the mill memoir and a Medical Memoir?

  2. #2
    A Gentleman of a refined age... thothguard51's Avatar
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    My understanding...

    A medical memoir is where the main subject is medically related on how a person dealt with a medical issue and all its affects as experienced by the main character or say a parent, spouse, etc who had to live through the medical drama...

    Say, someone who has battled MS or breast cancer vs someone who has battled the Taliban or was a fighter pilot in WW2.
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    The Surreal Thing AW Moderator Maryn's Avatar
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    thothguard's got it. I'm not a big memoir reader, but when my husband was ill, I did read two medical memoirs by people with the same illness. I only remember one, "My Time on Fire" by Evan Handler, an actor most people in the US might well recognize, although few could name him. (His distinctive appearance was largely shaped by the treatments which saved his life.)

    It wasn't a great book, but it was a true book, and he survived, so I liked it for that reason.

    Maryn, whose husband also survived
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    Swan in Process Siri Kirpal's Avatar
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    What the others said.

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  5. #5
    practical experience, FTW Luzoni's Avatar
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    LOVE your pumpkin pic Maryn. That is one creepy grin. Also, sorry to hear your husband was ill, but wonderful that he recovered

    I've never read any medical memoirs so can you guys tell me more about them, like to what extent is it just a survivor, or a loved one/friend of a victim, detailing their struggle and symptoms, or is it also the author delving into the condition, educating the reader a little. Can it be just narrative, just education with personal examples, or mixtures of both? (Not that any genre has strict rules, I suppose).

    Also, any recommendations on good or memorable medical memoirs you've read?

  6. #6
    Swan in Process Siri Kirpal's Avatar
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    Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

    I've seen memoirs that were instruction manuals in fancy dress. I've seen memoirs that were narratives only. And everything in between.

    Tuesdays with Morrie isn't exactly a medical memoir; it's a man's story of his relationship with a dying teacher. But that teacher's affliction with Lou Ehrig's disease plays a huge part in the story.

    Blessings,

    Siri Kirpal
    "The only freedom any of us ever has is the freedom to choose how we will not be free."

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