Friday, April 14, 2006
Read this book
The most enjoyable thing I've read in a long, long time.
Granted, I have an interest in cultural ethnographies, I appreciate the occasional I-have-so-much guilt trip (oh! a good broadening of my perspective!), and I very much enjoy articulate, journalistic style writing of any sort. So it follows that I would like a book that is (kind of) about abject poverty in Haiti and a man who made it his business to help. Well, really, it's about a doctor named Paul Farmer and how he juxtaposes treating patients on an intimate, one-on-one basis--particularly in rural, miserable central Haiti--and curing the world of drug-resistant tuberculosis and AIDS as well as general oppression of the poor. He's remarkably good on both fronts.
The writing is honest, or if it isn't, Kidder is good at earning the reader's trust. The book is philosophical, political. It is inspiring and depressing. It is well-researched and very well-written. It may make you want to go to medical school (not me), or make a donation to Farmer's foundation (still thinking about it) or go on a humanitarian mission (some day).
Just read it. I expect a 500-word book report by the end of the month.