Excerpt from Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures by Vincent Lam, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures

Stories

by Vincent Lam

Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Sep 2007, 362 pages
    Paperback:
    Sep 2008, 362 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


Now, Karl was doing his surgical residency in Toronto, and they avoided each other at family gatherings. He had put his hand on her breast once this year, in an upstairs hallway during a birthday party, and she had threatened to scream.

It was four-fifteen in the morning.

She said, “You thought I was so perfect.”

“You seem to have everything under such control.”

“I cultivate that notion. I used to stand in front of the mirror and call myself slut, bitch. Not out loud—I was afraid someone would hear, so I mouthed the words. I felt like I deserved to be called names. Then Karl told me how good I was when we did what he liked, and when I brought home my grades my parents were happy and proud.”

“You were a kid. How could you know what to do?” “That idea should absolve me, except it also takes something away. I looked forward to seeing him, although he was my nightmare. I got stuck. If I don’t recognize that I enjoyed certain things, even the sex, then I was a stupid lump. No. I was there and made decisions, but was I coerced? Of course. I got things, but only some of them were what I asked for. These thoughts go round and round. You know how I distract myself ? I study. Every last little detail, and it fills my head. Karl taught me how to study for marks—how to write all these stupid tests—and now I forget myself by stuffing my head full.”

There was quiet, and then after a little while Fitzgerald said, “You know I love you.” Again silence, and then, “I might as well say it.”

“It may be the same for me, but I’m afraid of it.” At seven in the morning, when she woke up, Ming realized that she had not asked Fitzgerald whether he was coming to Toronto. Ming’s father delivered her to the train station, the long line of travellers snaking under the black maze of girders. She saw Fitzgerald buying a ticket at the booth. Her father, for whom Fitzgerald was an invisible telephone threat, was oblivious as Fitz walked past them toward the end of the line. At the platform, Ming’s father squeezed her and told her how much honor she would bring to the family if she succeeded. Ming boarded, and sat alone until she had waved her father goodbye. Only then did she find Fitzgerald. At nine-thirty, the soft clanking rhythm of the iron wheels on the joints of the track came quicker and closer as the train escaped Ottawa’s southern suburbs. Exhausted from the sleepless night, Ming grasped Fitzgerald’s hand, and rested her head in the cleft between his shoulder and chest, amazed at the way the sides of their bodies fit together. It was a physical relief for them to touch. He kissed the top of her head and, as she fell asleep, Ming breathed in deeply this sweetly unfamiliar warmth.

The above excerpt is the complete text of the short story "How To Get Into Medical School, Part 1" , pages 1-30 of Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures. Copyright (c) Dr. Vincent Lam, 2007. Reproduced with permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  Dr. Vincent Lam

One-Month Free Membership

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Here I Am
    Here I Am
    by Jonathan Safran Foer
    With almost all the accoutrements of upper middle-class suburban life, Julia and Jacob Bloch fit the...
  • Book Jacket: Harmony
    Harmony
    by Carolyn Parkhurst
    In previous novels such as The Dogs of Babel and Lost and Found, Carolyn Parkhurst has shown herself...
  • Book Jacket: Commonwealth
    Commonwealth
    by Ann Patchett
    Opening Ann Patchett's novel Commonwealth about two semi-functional mid-late 20th Century ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Tea Planter's Wife
    by Dinah Jefferies

    An utterly engrossing, compulsive page-turner set in 1920s Ceylon.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Darling Days
    by iO Tillett Wright

    A devastatingly powerful memoir of one young woman's extraordinary coming of age.

    Read Member Reviews

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
This Must Be the Place
by Maggie O'Farrell

An irresistible love story for fans of Beautiful Ruins and Where'd You Go, Bernadette?

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Blood at the Root

Blood at the Root

"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

D C Y C Before T A H

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!



Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.