“Daly Walker may be retired as a surgeon, but he has not lost a step in his ability to carefully open a subject, and make it live anew…I love this book.”–Roger Rosenblatt, author of Cold Moon and Rules of Aging
“These stories are tender, wise and loving.”–Roxana Robinson, novelist and biographer of Georgia O’Keefe
“…a beautiful and deeply perceptive collection of stories. Daly Walker’s writing is artful and profound.”–Elizabeth McKenzie, author of The Portable Veblen
“His beautifully crafted prose portrays their struggles with gut-wrenching decisions, their feelings of pride and pleasure, of doubt and uncertainty, of guilt and sadness, of long and love, and so much more. In short, he demonstrates and celebrates their humanity.”–Robert B. Santulli, M.D., Dartmouth College
Daly Walker creates poignant worlds shimmering with hope, pathos, trauma, and healing in this engrossing collection of short stories. Worn down by age, the 93-year-old protagonist of “At the Door” struggles with loneliness after his wife’s death. His hopelessness is balanced with the optimism of his outlook toward aging and life. In “India’s Passage,” a surgeon wrestles with guilt and trauma after losing a young patient to a supposedly uncomplicated surgical procedure. In “Nui Ba Den,” Walker explores old love, longing, infidelity, and hurt. Challenging and evocative, “Resuscitation” celebrates medical professionals as COVID-19 invades their hospital.
Enlightenment and introspection pervade these stories, shaping their physician-protagonists’ outlooks and helping readers understand that all doctors stand in the shadow of the Hippocratic Oath. With their focus on issues of morality and mortality, the stories dramatize the lifelong commitment made by those who practice medicine. As readers, we come to understand that as long as we enjoy good health, happiness is within reach and gratitude for new beginnings is one of life’s greatest gifts.