By the author of Ducks, Newburyport, shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2019 and the Goldsmiths Prize
The tranquillity of a rural backwater - SHATTERED!
The ancient arts of medicine - EXPOSED!
Her darling cleft-chinned doctor - FORCED TO FIGHT FOR HIS LIFE!
It was a time of wiping. A time of bandaging. Of patients and their incessant needs. In a world where nurses never wash their hands, and doctors are the lowest of the low, one enormous nurse stands up for LOVE - a nurse that will make you fart with fear...
What bizarre comic riffs can the incomparable Ellmann spin from a romantic medical mismatch? Breathtakingly brutal ones, as per usual, for the author of Man or Mango, but also bright, direct and playful and full of CAPS. After Ellmann's enormous nurse, Jen, takes a job in "A RURAL BACKWATER" of Great Britain with general practitioner Dr. Roger Lewis, her every move is chronicled in excruciating, digressive, sidesplitting detail. ("THE JOB INTERVIEW ITSELF" is followed by "JEN'S BODY," which is followed by "WHAT'S IT REALLY LIKE TO HAVE A BODY?") Jen's obesity is mercilessly harped- on throughout, as are her oversized appetites for food, sex, violence and her handsome new employer who is married, with children. Roger, who is more than game, happily scams patients and shrugs off lawsuit-worthy mistakes, quickly winning Jen's wicked heart. Their unlikely affair, complicated by annoying patients ("their frequent need to DIE or have BABIES") and Roger's sexual indiscretions, accommodates biting observations on the state of contemporary medicine and romance. Graphic medically and sexually, Ellmann's latest is not for the squeamish, but it's a hilarious exaggeration of a profession's foibles.