Williams Grimes reviews Pauline Chen’s book Final Exam: A Surgeon’s Reflections on Mortality (Knopf) in today’s New York Times. Grimes praises the work as
a series of thoughtful, moving essays on the troubled relationship between modern medical practice and the emotional events surrounding death… . Dr. Chen vividly conveys the fears and anxieties of medical training, as well as its pleasures… . Her most hopeful argument is herself: a doctor open to confronting her own fears and doubts, and willing to prepare her patients for the final exam.
On the strength of this glowing review, Final Exam is shooting up the Amazon sales rankings. We couldn’t be more delighted. Pauline is a marvelous writer—and a truly warm and sweet person. It’s wonderful to see her and her work receiving due recognition.
In case you missed it, her first published essay, “Dead Enough?: The Paradox of Brain Death” appeared in the Fall 2005 issue of VQR and was later named a finalist for a National Magazine Award and included in Best American Magazine Writing 2006. Her essay “Morbidity and Mortality: A Surgeon Under Exam” is in the new issue of VQR, on newsstands now. And keep an eye out for “The Gross-Out Factor,” a new essay, forthcoming in VQR in the Fall.
And you can follow Pauline’s meteoric rise to fame on her blog.