book cover of The Care of Strangers
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The Care of Strangers

(2020)
A novel by

 
 
Winner of the 2019 Miami Book Fair/de Groot Prize, The Care of Strangers is a moving story about friendship set in a gritty Brooklyn hospital, where a young woman learns to take charge of her life by taking care of others.

Working as an orderly in a gritty Brooklyn public hospital, Sima is often reminded by her superiors that she's the least important person there. An immigrant who, with her mother, escaped vicious anti-Semitism in Poland, she spends her shifts transporting patients, observing the doctors and residents ... and quietly nurturing her aspirations to become a doctor herself by going to night school. Now just one credit short of graduating, she finds herself faltering in the face of pressure from her mother not to overreach, and to settle for the life she has now.

Everything changes when Sima encounters Mindy Kahn, an intern doctor struggling through her residency. Sensing a fellow outsider in need of support, Sima bonds with Mindy over their patients, and learns the power of truly letting yourself care for another person, helping to give her the courage to face her past, and take control of her future.

A moving story about vulnerability and friendship, The Care of Strangers is the story of one woman's discovery that sometimes interactions with strangers are the best way to find yourself.

Genre: Literary Fiction

Praise for this book

"In this fine and wonderful novel, the work of medicine--of saving lives--is closely related to the work of saving oneself, of staying intact under the pressure of work and inherited prejudices. The novel's two protagonists are both heroes and outcasts, and Ellen Michaelson shows us an intricate world of medical care that she knows from the inside out. It's a fascinating story that's both clear-eyed and warm-hearted." - Charles Baxter

"This is a tale of connection and disconnection, between patients, staff, and doctors; between the living and the dead; between parent and child. Sima's outsider view of her world, tinged with wonder and given over in deft scenework, is a triumph of humanity, endurance, and love." - Joanna Rose

"A gorgeous, clear-eyed gaze at illness and care, ambition and friendship, noting that sometimes we humans get tangled up. We get it wrong, try harder and find a way to care deeply. Michaelson gives us just what we need during these uncertain times, a humane and hopeful novella." - Natalie Serber

"The book is incredibly touching in all senses of the word--in fact, it is about touching--about the way we handle and care for one another. . . . The portrait overall is quite moving. . . ." - Justin Torres


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Paperback Editions

November 2020 : USA Paperback
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Title: The Care of Strangers
Author(s): Ellen Michaelson
ISBN: 1-61219-868-6 / 978-1-61219-868-2 (USA edition)
Publisher: Melville House
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


Kindle Editions

November 2020 : USA, Australia, Canada, UK Kindle edition
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Title: The Care of Strangers
Author(s): Ellen Michaelson
Publisher: Melville House
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU