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Bellevue Literary Review - Spring 2004

The Bellevue Literary Review explores the connective tissue between the practice of medicine and literature in a way that is sensitive, surprising, and compassionate. I routinely read and love the work of this journal, in part because the subject matter is so intensely personal, the vulnerabilities of illness and injury, the uncertainties of working with the ill and injured. This issue is sprinkled with the work of well-known authors like Alicia Ostriker and Hal Sorowitz and focuses on the impact of relationships with others in a medical setting. For instance, in one story a rape victim is comforted by a nosy woman in a proctologist’s office, and in another, a medical student falls briefly in love with a beautiful patient repeatedly infected with gonorrhea by her boyfriend. In a third, the relationship between a husband and wife is damaged while they are in Venice seeking fertility treatments. I like too many pieces here to call out just one or two, but I will quote the poem “The Initiation,” by Alicia Ostriker, in its entirety: “I was still a kid / interning at Bellevue / It was a young red-headed woman / looked like my sister / When the lines went flat / I fell apart / Went to the head surgeon / a fatherly man / Boy, he said, you got to fill a graveyard / before you know this business / and you just did / row one, plot one.” [Department of Medicine OBV-612, NYU School of Medicine, 550 First Avenue New York, NY 10016. E-mail: . Single issue $7.] - JHG

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Review Posted on May 31, 2004

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