Views & Reviews Medical Classics

Family Matters

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 08 July 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b2760
  1. Ellen Tullo, ST1 medicine, Newcastle
  1. ellentullo{at}

    One of the most compelling arguments for busy clinicians to find time to read novels is the opportunity to gain humanistic insight into the unfamiliar lives of others. Although literary characters are constructed by their author, their fictional role can vividly illuminate realities that readers may never face in their own lives.

    The protagonist of Rohinton Mistry’s novel Family Matters, Nariman Vakeel, is a retired professor of literature experiencing the gradual erosion of his autonomy through the relentless progression of Parkinson’s disease. The tale examines Nariman’s stoical adaptation to his chronic condition and the effect on those …

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