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Richard Selzer

RICHARD SELZER M.D.

NYS Writers Institute, Februrary 3, 2004
Author's Theatre
Staged Reading
The Doctor Stories

7:30 p.m. Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center

Surgeon and writer Richard Selzer was born in Troy, New York, graduated from Union college in 1948 and received his M.D. from Albany Medical College in 1953. After completing a surgical internship and residency at Yale University in 1960, Dr. Selzer remained as Assistant Clinical Professor of Surgery until 1985 in addition to maintaining a private practice.

Selzer's writing career began in the 1970's with the publication of Rituals of Surgery (1973), his first collection of short stories. Since then he published Mortal Lessons: Notes on the Art of Surgery (1976), Confessions of a Knife (1979), a collection of 24 essays, roughly half of which are surgical memoirs, Letters to a Young Doctor (1982), and his most recent collection, Taking the World in for Repairs (1986), Imagine a Woman (five novellas) (1990) and A Mile and a Half of Ink (a diary) (1990).

Making use of a vast store of information and experiences from his medical career, Selzer's tales of the sick and diseased, while often startling and shocking, are filled with compassion and a certain awe for the mystery of the human body.

In a review of Rituals of Surgery, Judith Ramsey, writing for the Village Voice praised Selzer for his "deftness of style, his imaginative use of medical and surgical materials, and his clear narrative talent..."

Selzer is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including a National Magazine Award, an American Medical Writers Award, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. His articles have appeared in Esquire, Harper's and many other magazines.

"Richard Selzer creates a metaphor for medicine which has all the strange, crude honesty that gives his writing its power." - Anna Fels, The Nation, on Letters to a Young Doctor

On April 15, 1999 Dr. Richard Selzer was a panel participant on Writing and Healing, with Donald W. Faulkner, at the Associated Writing Programs Annual Conference in Albany, New York.

In 1992 Selzer published a memoir of his Troy boyhood and other formative experiences, Down from Troy: A Doctor Comes of Age.

"The sooty, pre-electronics age of Troy, with its cobblestone streets, horse-drawn hearses, saloons and brothels, is evoked with affection and irony…." - Publishers Weekly

The Exact Location of the SoulSelzer’s latest book is The Exact Location of the Soul: New and Selected Essays (2001).

"An intelligent and thoughtful observer with many years of experience at the Yale School of Medicine, Selzer enables us to see our bodies in previously unconsidered ways…. this collection is a brilliant guide to the human body." - The Book Magazine

Many of Selzer’s works have been named "Notable Books" by the New York Times. He is also the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including a National Magazine Award, an American Medical Writers Award, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. His articles have appeared in Esquire, Harper’s and many other magazines.


Books by Richard Selzer

Letters to a Young DoctorConfessions of a KnifeMortal Lessons


For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620 or online at http://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.