Hung’s thoughtful book deserves an audience wider than just those contemplating a life in medicine, “an impossible and often...

F.O.B. IN PARADISE

A YOUNG MAN'S JOURNEY OF SELF-DISCOVERY

Hung’s (Finding Fat Lady’s Shoe, 2013) second memoir updates the classic American immigrant’s success story: A young man emigrates from Hong Kong to the U.S. and, despite hardships and failures, works his way through college and medical school to become a doctor.

In 1965, Hung arrived F.O.B.—fresh off the boat—in Hawaii with just a few hundred dollars in his pocket. He enrolled in college and worked as many as four jobs, struggling all the while with the English language; a blind date, he thought, meant going out with a blind person. Just an average student, Hung never earned his bachelor’s degree. Attempting to study optometry at Indiana University, he floundered there and, later, in dental school at the University of British Columbia, barely passing some courses, flunking others and enduring “a year of bad days.” Switching to medical school at the University of Hawaii and then the University of Nebraska, however, he earned his degree in medicine—a “uniformly strenuous” experience. A preceptorship in a country hospital in Wahoo, Nebraska, ensued, in which he treated all kinds of conditions, followed by an exhausting internship in Fresno, California, where he helped save some patients, watched helplessly as others died, and made beginner’s mistakes, such as putting an obese woman’s suppository “in the wrong hole.” Hung has written an absorbing and witty book. Dramatic, nuanced vignettes and vivid descriptions of people and places create a rich tapestry that shows the medical profession at its best and worst. He sees the wonder and the mystery of the human body and mind and the frighteningly big part that luck plays in patient outcomes, despite modern medical advances. As someone who’s “proud to be average,” Hung also demonstrates the value of hard work and persistence in reaching one’s goals. Though he overindulges in exclamation points and devotes a few too many pages to his early days in Hawaii, this memoir provides a fascinating insiders’ look at the study and practice of medicine, a view few outside the field will even guess at.

Hung’s thoughtful book deserves an audience wider than just those contemplating a life in medicine, “an impossible and often thankless job.”

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2014

ISBN: 978-0692203583

Page Count: 324

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Nov. 9, 2014

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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IN MY PLACE

From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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