Everybody Read This Book

“Everybody should have access to medical care. It shouldn’t be such a big deal.” – Paul Farmer

Just finished “Mountains Beyond Mountains” by Tracy Kidder (I’ve read two of his other books, which were gripping even without having Haiti as a subject). Johanna, my librarian, forced me to take it even though I said I had a stack of books to get through (story of my life). So I was compelled to read it fast because it was due back and I’m lousy at returning books. It’s easy to be lazy when your husband works at the library.

I digress. This book is about Paul Farmer, founder of Partners in Health, a group of doctors who try to help sick people around the world. That sounds so logical, and yet in reality it’s like a crazy dream in a happy fantasyland.

Johanna said this book would change my life and I didn’t believe her, but I can say I am honestly moved. Guilty, because I haven’t done enough with my damn life to help other people, but enlightened.

I had a writing teacher who said we should copy our favorite passages from books we’ve read. Being the big dork that I am, I actually did, and still do. It’s probably breaking copyright law to put this here but here’s a sample (and hey if it promotes the book what’s the harm? Don’t sue me anyone):

“Paul laid out a comprehensive theory of poverty, of a world designed by the elites of all nations to serve their own ends, the pieces of the design enshrined in ideologies, which erased the histories of how things came to be as they were. And he knew the details for Haiti, a catastrophe covered with the fingerprints of the Western powers, most of all those of France and the United States.”

Amen, brother. And if you don’t want to read the book check out this interview. And if your eyes don’t well up at some point, you should probably get your soul checked.

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