An astonishing literary debut, this collection of mature and intricate stories introduces a powerful new voice in fiction.
‘A STUNNING DEBUT’ Margaret Atwood
‘IRRESISTIBLE’ Alice Munro
In this beautifully written collection, Vincent Lam weaves together black humour, investigations of both common and extraordinary moral dilemmas, and a sometimes shockingly realistic portrait of today’s medical profession. Twelve interlinked stories introduce us to a group of medical students over ten years, as they make the transition from medical school to hospital life.
The stories span the unique challenges faced by young, inexperienced doctors – having to decide during a first human dissection whether it is more important to follow the anatomy textbook or keep a tattoo intact – but also delve into their private lives, their relationships and family histories, their fears and motivations.
Riveting, convincing and precise, ‘Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures’ looks with rigorous honesty at the specificities of the lives of doctors and their patients and brings us to a deeper understanding of the challenges and temptations that surge around us all.
Reviews of Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures
- ‘Direct in style, unsparing though compassionate in observation, subtle in emotion, and occasionally gruesome in humour, “Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures” follows four medical students from widely different backgrounds as their stories intertwine, as their illusions shatter, and as the meanings of many lives expand around them. The good news is that doctors are human beings. The bad news is that doctors are human beings. The other good news is that this book marks a stunning debut.’ Margaret Atwood
- ‘Fresh and sparkling…almost every story here has the compulsive what–next charge of true drama beautifully carried by Lam’s clear, understated, confident prose.’ Sunday Times
- ‘There’s no reason why Bloodletting…shouldn’t become as big a hit in this country as it has been in Canada. Simply sit back, relax and enjoy the effortless charm of Lam’s storytelling.’ Scotsman
- ‘Scalpel sharp, as cool and polished as the steel of the mortuary table.’ Financial Times
- ‘Reading about medical problems and what goes on in the emergency ward is just absolutely enthralling to all of us, but in this case it’s much more than that – it’s the characters and the movement and the ease of the storytelling that I just found so irresistible.’ Alice Munro
- “Like journalistic dispatches from the medical front lines, with careful psychological characterization added. Lam’s book represents a promising demonstration of fiction’s unique power: to bring the news that stays news, in Ezra Pound’s formulation, and to allow the reader to see through the eyes of those who experience events firsthand.” New York Times Book Review