Samuel Shem's picture

Samuel Shem

(Dr. Stephen Bergman)

Samuel Shems classic novel about medical internship, THE HOUSE OF GOD (1978), was recently named by the British medical journal The Lancet as one of the two most important American medical novels of the 20th century, the other being Sinclair Lewis ARROWSMITH. It has sold over two million copies, in thirty languages. John Updike wrote in an introduction to the 25th anniversary edition: It glows with the celebratory essence of a real novelA tale of venture into the valley of death and the truth of the fleshmore timely than ever. Newsweek listed it in 1999 as the novel to read about becoming a doctor. The sequel, MOUNT MISERY (1996), about psychiatric residency at a mental hospital of that name, has been called another medical classic, and, by the Boston Globe, outrageously funny, a sage and important novel by a healer and a Shakespearean. These novels have been bestsellers in America, Germany, Spain, and the Czech Republic. Shem is also the author of a FINE (1986), a novel about a psychoanalyst (FunnyFull of dazzling, zany intelligenceenergetic and exuberant New York Times), THE SPIRIT OF THE PLACE (to be published in March 2008), and THE MISSING GIRL, a novel set in China (manuscript).

Genres: General Fiction
   Bill W. and Dr. Bob (1990) (with Janet Surrey)
Non fiction
   We Have to Talk (1998) (with Janet Surrey)
   The Buddha's Wife (2015) (with Janet Surrey)
Samuel Shem recommends
The White Coat Diaries (2020)
Madi Sinha
"This authentic, no-holds-barred novel based on a savage intern year, is gripping. Her navigating love—in the hospital and in her traditional Indian family—is touching, funny, and fraught. Welcome, author Madi Sinha, to the club of doctor/writers."

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