The Spring 2014 issue of the Bellevue Literary Review – a journal published by the NYU School of Medicine – is a tightly packed relic of raw emotion. This writing is varied and multi-faceted. Within Bellevue’s pages we find stories and poems written from the point of view of doctors and patients’ spouses, treating all manner of psychological nuance. The fraught terrain of the hospital romance, the heart-tearing sadness of the sick child, the ways in which humans negotiate overlapping identities, even the politics of being a physician in a politically-charged war zone. All are explored thoroughly and with a puzzling faculty I’ve discovered in many humans – a thing called “empathy.” I must research this “empathy.” Mental note – incorporate into memoir.
A doff of the cap to Lilliam Rivera for “Death Defiant Bomba or What To Wear When Your Boo Gets Cancer;” Rachel Hadas for her poem “The Second Floor;” Elisha Waldman for her essay on the multiple roles of the physician in an Israeli hospital, “Double Exposure;” and Abby Horowitz, for her story “Pediatricology,” which won the 2014 Goldenberg Prize for Fiction, judged by Nathan Englander; not to mention all the other frightfully talented authors in Bellevue. A deep bow goes to the editors, Danielle Ofri, Stacey Bodziak, Ronna Wineburg, Jerome Lowenstein, Suzanne McConnell, and Jason Schneiderman.
Though I have never seen the inside of a hospital, they sound like difficult places for humans. Personally, the smell of disinfectant makes my tummy a bit upset. Once I accidentally sniffed a bottle of Lysol in my ghostwriter’s cabinet and promptly vomited my last meal out his bedroom window. My sincerest apologies go out to the mail carrier. Sorry, Frank! A traumatic experience for both of us.
Bellevue editors – Ofri, et al – do call me. Excerpts of my memoir, Beautiful On The Outside, are available for publication. You may reach me at my chateau (my ghostwriter’s couch), or at @City_Sasquatch. Merci.