Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures, the first novel by Toronto emergency physician Vincent Lam, is an auspicious debut to say the least. Lam was awarded the prestigious Giller Prize for fiction in 2006 and his book has been a top seller in Canada. Writing from what he knows, the doctor weaves a tale of four people as they transition from college students to med school to practicing physicians. While the usual medical antics arise, including sleep deprivation, back stories involving sick relatives, and the occasional exotic illness (SARS), the tales of these doctors are mostly kept behind the scenes, as they often only make cameos in a series of vignettes that focus on patients' stories. Lam uses a methodical thought process that serves him as well in his writing as it probably does as a doctorhis characters (doctors or not) have strengths as well as flaws, and their imperfection reminds us they're human. Added bonus: For those curious about the medical jargon thrown casually about, there's a mini-medical dictionary located in the back.
Mon., Sept. 10, 7:30 p.m.