Winter 2019

Comic Relief

Get to know the fledgling graphic medicine genre.

By Courtney Hollands

Hirsh Health Sciences Library recently unveiled a new section devoted to graphic novels that tackle health-care issues as diverse as Alzheimer’s disease, childhood trauma, and eating disorders. “Certain subjects, like cancer treatment and its effects on a patient’s personal and social life, can be difficult to discuss openly,” said collections assistant Sia Samiean. “This genre creates a new and much-needed space where conversations can take place, empowering others who are going through difficult times.” Here are a three titles Samiean recommends as an introduction to the “Graphic Medicine” collection.

 

THE BAD DOCTOR: THE TROUBLED LIFE AND TIMES OF DR. IWAN JAMES
By Ian Williams

This is the story of Dr. James, who is overwhelmed by feelings of inadequacy and burdened by his responsibility to provide diagnoses that greatly affect patients’ lives.

 

CANCER VIXEN: A TRUE STORY
By Marisa Acocella Marchetto

Illustrated with bold, vibrant colors and brimming with humor, this memoir follows the author’s eleven-month battle with breast cancer.

 

STITCHES: A MEMOIR
By David Small

A cancerous tumor robbed Caldecott Award-winning illustrator Small of a vocal cord when he was 14. As Small loses his voice, the narration becomes sparer, leaving the black- and-white drawings to convey his isolation during recovery.

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