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THE CASE OF DOCTOR SACHS by Martin Winckler

THE CASE OF DOCTOR SACHS

By Martin Winckler (Author) , Linda Asher (Translator)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2000
ISBN: 1-58322-056-9
Publisher: Seven Stories

A piecemeal portrait of the days of a provincial French physician, this appealing 1997 novel (the second by its relatively late-blooming author, himself a retired doctor) won France’s Prix du Livre Inter (just how many French literary prizes are there, by the way?) and was the basis for a highly popular recent film. Organized according to the stages of the doctor-patient experience (Presentation, History, Examination[s], Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prognosis), it employs the many voices of patients treated by Dr. Bruno Sachs, who address him as “you,” and whose cumulative testimony gradually reveals his deep empathy with, and genuine love for, those who need him—which reaches critical mass in his relationship with a beautiful woman on whom he has performed an abortion. Our inherent fascination with medical stories aside, Winckler’s patiently detailed exploration of a life lived almost solely for others makes his low-keyed tale as heartwarming and life-affirming an experience as it is an unpretentiously realistic one.