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Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences

Reading Group

medical humanities

Chairs: Amy Boesky (English) and Cathy Read (Nursing)

Several times a semester, we’d like to invite interested students, staff and faculty to participate in an interdisciplinary Boston College Reading Group—informal discussions about short works of literature. Come to one meeting or all three this semester—we’ll read brief selections from different genres, including fiction, nonfiction, memoir. Readings will be available by PDF or on Reserve in O’Neill. Please rsvp to if you plan to attend.


Elizabeth Graver, “The Mourning Door” (short story)

Monday, September 23, 7:30-9:00 p.m. Stokes 203N
Boston College’s acclaimed novelist and fiction writer, Elizabeth Graver, explores the experience of a young woman struggling to conceive a baby in this beautifully nuanced short story set in a small New England town. Elizabeth will join us to talk about the experience of writing this story, and its striking representation of embodiment and loss.
Elizabeth Graver’s story


Jill Bolte Taylor, My Stroke of Insight

Monday, October 28, 7:00-8:30 p.m. Stokes 203N
Taylor, a brain scientist, suffered a severe stroke at 37, and after her recovery, has spoken and written extensively about her experiences—about the peculiar euphoria she experienced during the most debilitating phases of the brain injury; about her experience with healing; about brain plasticity; about the intricate and inter-involved experiences of being a “patient” and of caregiving. This short memoir includes rich information about the function and repair of the brain, about brain trauma and recovery. Copies of Taylor’s book will be placed on Reserve at O’Neill, or email Kate Jackson or Rachel Ernst for help in getting a copy.


Cheryl Strayed, “Heroin/Heroine”

To be rescheduled
A short story that formed the kernel of Strayed’s bestselling memoir Wild, this story explores themes of grief, caretaking, addiction and recovery. Cheryl Strayed’s story.