Professional cosmopolitanism in the medical bildungsroman: narrating the global relevance of the doctor’s local practice in Abraham Verghese's my own country and Atul Gawande's complications

Sundaram, Neeraja (2016) Professional cosmopolitanism in the medical bildungsroman: narrating the global relevance of the doctor’s local practice in Abraham Verghese's my own country and Atul Gawande's complications. Postcolonial Text, 11 (3).

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Abstract

This essay explores two instances of nonfictional variants of the medical Bildungsroman to argue that this predominantly novelistic genre is being reformulated in unique ways. I herein examine two memoirs written by second-generation Indian immigrant doctors in the United States, Atul Gawande’s Complications: Notes from the Life of a Young Surgeon and Abraham Verghese’s My Own Country, and demonstrate that the coming-of-age genre must be reconsidered to emphasize its relevance in the contexts of illness, narrative and identity. These memoirs are key texts: firstly with respect to the socialized identities they construct for narrators who see themselves as strangers professionally (within a certain practice of and approach to medicine and its subjects) and culturally (situated in a community/family whose members display varying degrees of assimilation in America and at home in India). Secondly, these memoirs by medical practitioners are illustrative of the emerging genre of the medical coming-of-age story where the narrators’ growth and development is negotiated via various institutionally governed roles like the “medical student,” “the practitioner” and “the expert.”

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Literature & rhetoric
Divisions: Azim Premji University > School of Arts and Sciences
Depositing User: Mr. Krishnamoorti Chavan
Date Deposited: 24 May 2018 11:32
Last Modified: 25 Jul 2018 09:57
Related URLs:
URI: http://publications.azimpremjifoundation.org/id/eprint/217
Publisher URL: http://postcolonial.univ-paris13.fr/index.php/pct/...

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