Five Days at Memorial (Sheri Fink); The Kindness of a Teacher (Jennie Nash)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Early this morning, these two things, unrelated, except they both involve people I adore.

First, I am celebrating the remarkable work of Sheri Fink, a PhD, MD, and writer whom I first met when chairing the PEN First Nonfiction Award in 2004. War Hospital: A True Story of Surgery and Survival, was, for us, a deserving finalist, a tale about medicine during the genocide in Srebrenica, Bosnia-Herzegovina. Sheri, in person, was exquisite. She went on to do important things, winning a Pulitzer Prize, a National Magazine Award, and countless other honors. Today her new book is out—Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital—and Jason Berry in the New York Times, along with many others, is giving it a rave. I could not be happier for this extraordinary woman.

Second, I am celebrating—and thanking—Jennie Nash, a long time friend and excellent writer, who surprised me with these kind words about Handling the Truth. Jennie is the kind of teacher who genuinely loves her students, who wants them to succeed, who gives them everything she can, then steps aside and applauds their journey. I am so touched that Jennie took the time to think so creatively about Handling. Her words are here. But included in these words is a special offering to students of writing. If you have a chance to work with Jennie, do.


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