A busy doctor juggles an errant teenage daughter and a seriously ill father. An elderly immigrant sacrifices his demented wife's well-being to satisfy his son's authority. A trainee becomes delirious with lack of sleep but must learn how to act, and not react, in the face of suffering. A psychiatrist who advocates for the underserved may herself be crazy.
Together these deeply humane linked stories - at once funny and honest, incisive and compassionate - explore the impact of illness on real people's lives and offer a portrait of health and medicine like nothing we have read before.
Set in hospitals, offices, nursing homes, prisons, family apartments and out and about in the city, A History of the Present Illness creates a world pulsating with life and introduces a striking new literary voice.