Arts & Resilience welcomes author Samuel Shem

By Roman Petrowski, Office of Communications
March 1, 2023

The lone in-person edition of the 2022-23 Arts and Resilience lineup features internationally renowned novelist Samuel Shem, March 7 in the TMC Library, Large Classroom. The event will also be streamed live via Zoom.

Shem, the pen name of Stephen Bergman, MD, PhD, is a novelist, playwright, essayist, and activist. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Medical School, and Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, where he served on the faculty for 35 years. His novels, The House of God, Fine, and Mount Misery have sold over 3 million copies.

Beginning at 11 a.m., Shem will read from his new book, Our Hospital, a sequel to Shem’s The House of Good and Man’s 4th Best Hospital, in the TMC Library. The first 30 guests in attendance will receive a free copy of the book. Then, at 1 p.m., Shem will speak with McGovern Medical Students as part of Transition to Residency at 1 p.m. in the Fifth Floor Gallery. Lunch will be provided to the first 30 guests of the Transition to Residency portion.

Shem’s novel, The House of God, was named by the British medical journal, The Lancet, as one of the two most important American medical novels of the 20th century. The book has sold more than 2 million copies in 30 languages.

Shem has been honored as one of the Boston Public Library’s “Literary Lights,” and as one of “Boston’s Best Authors.” He was a speaker at the Hemingway Centennial Celebration at the JFK Library and has received the Vanderbilt University Medal of Merit.

In 1994, Shem served as the commencement speaker for the graduating class of McGovern Medical School students. In total, he has delivered more than 50 commencement addresses at medical schools, has spoken around the world on “How to Stay Human in Medicine” and published a noted essay, “Fiction as Resistance” in the Annals of Internal Medicine in 2002.

The Arts & Resilience Program is sponsored by the Dean’s Office in collaboration with the McGovern Center for Humanities and Ethics. For more information and a schedule, visit the program’s website here.

The 2022-23 lineup continues March 22 with a Zoom session featuring artist Lanecia Rouse Tinsley before concluding with artist Kill Joy at a date to be determined.