An eye-opening resource illustrates one more facet of how race affects health care.

Discrimination Experienced in the Nursing Profession by Minority Nurses

A veteran nurse and educator compiles firsthand accounts of nurses who have faced racism in New York City hospitals.

In this debut collection of interviews, seasoned nurse and nursing teacher Semper pulls back the veil on the racism and discrimination in New York hospitals in the 21st century, giving a platform to 50 minority nurses to share their frustrations and battles with prejudice and intolerance within their field. These caregivers range in age, experience, and, especially, background, including but not limited to Latino, Indian, Asian, and African-American nurses as well as immigrant caretakers who have come to New York from as far away as Russia and Guyana. Despite these differences, each illustrates a consistent pattern of minority nurses being ignored or exploited, paid less than their white counterparts, and segregated to working only night shifts. Those wronged have few places to turn for aid, as most human resources officials are influenced by institutional racism or are unable to protect complainants from retaliation, while organizations like the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission are largely staffed by nonminority workers as well. It is clear some of those interviewed have given up hope, discouraging other minority nurses from pursuing their careers, but others, though not optimistic, offer pragmatic solutions, pushing for racial-awareness training, suggesting more on-the-job nurse advocates, and stressing the importance of education and effective mentors. Most striking in these accounts, besides the great bravery each nurse demonstrates in coming forward, is the near-identical hardships they describe. Furthermore, each clearly illustrates the impact these discriminatory environments have on patient care, with mental and emotional abuse leading to burnout or breakdown, decreasing the quality of treatment and forcing much-needed skilled workers out of the field. Individually the essays are rather abrupt, and while this makes them no less believable, the heartbreaking similarities across all 50 stories are largely what tie these diverse voices together. Some broader statistical information would have been welcome, but even without it, the final product is more than just a collection of grievances. It’s a cacophonous call to action.

An eye-opening resource illustrates one more facet of how race affects health care.

Pub Date: Aug. 10, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4917-9751-8

Page Count: 126

Publisher: iUniverse

Review Posted Online: Dec. 1, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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THE ELEPHANT VANISHES

STORIES

A seamless melding of Japanese cultural nuances with universal themes—in a virtuoso story collection from rising literary star Murakami (A Wild Sheep Chase, 1989; Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, 1991). These 15 pieces, some of which have appeared in The New Yorker and Playboy, are narrated by different characters who nonetheless share similar sensibilities and attitudes. At home within their own urban culture, they happily pick and choose from Western cultural artifacts as varied as Mozart tapes, spaghetti dinners, and Ralph Lauren polo shirts in a terrain not so much surreal as subtly out of kilter, and haunted by the big questions of death, courage, and love. In the title story, the narrator—who does p.r. for a kitchen-appliance maker and who feels that "things around [him] have lost their balance," that a "pragmatic approach" helps avoid complicated problems—is troubled by the inexplicable disappearance of a local elephant and his keeper. In another notable story, "Sleep," a young mother, unable to sleep, begins to question not only her marriage and her affection for her child, but death itself, which may mean "being eternally awake and staring into darkness." Stories like "TV People," in which a man's apartment is taken over by TV characters who "look as if they were reduced by photocopy, everything mechanically calibrated"; "Barn Burning," in which a man confesses to burning barns (it helps him keep his sense of moral balance); and "The Second Bakery Attack," in which a young married couple rob a McDonald's of 30 Big Macs in order to exorcise the sense of a "weird presence" in their lives—all exemplify Murakami's sense of the fragility of the ordinary world. Remarkable evocations of a postmodernist world, superficially indifferent but transformed by Murakami's talent into a place suffused with a yearning for meaning.

Pub Date: March 31, 1993

ISBN: 0679750533

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1993

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BEYOND THE GREAT SNOW MOUNTAINS

Superb stylist L’Amour returns (End of the Drive, 1997, etc.), albeit posthumously, with ten stories never seen before in book form—and narrated in his usual hard-edged, close-cropped sentences, jutting up from under fierce blue skies. This is the first of four collections of L’Amour material expected from Bantam, edited by his daughter Angelique, featuring an eclectic mix of early historicals and adventure stories set in China, on the high seas, and in the boxing ring, all drawing from the author’s exploits as a carnival barker and from his mysterious and sundry travels. During this period, L’Amour was trying to break away from being a writer only of westerns. Also included is something of an update on Angelique’s progress with her father’s biography: i.e., a stunningly varied list of her father’s acquaintances from around the world whom she’d like to contact for her research. Meanwhile, in the title story here, a missionary’s daughter who crashes in northern Asia during the early years of the Sino-Japanese War is taken captive by a nomadic leader and kept as his wife for 15 years, until his death. When a plane lands, she must choose between taking her teenaged son back to civilization or leaving him alone with the nomads. In “By the Waters of San Tadeo,” set on the southern coast of Chile, Julie Marrat, whose father has just perished, is trapped in San Esteban, a gold field surrounded by impassable mountains, with only one inlet available for anyone’s escape. “Meeting at Falmouth,” a historical, takes place in January 1794 during a dreadful Atlantic storm: “Volleys of rain rattled along the cobblestones like a scattering of broken teeth.” In this a notorious American, unnamed until the last paragraph, helps Talleyrand flee to America. A master storyteller only whets the appetite for his next three volumes.

Pub Date: May 11, 1999

ISBN: 0-553-10963-4

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Bantam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1999

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