Intended for healthcare professionals

Views & Reviews Between the Lines

A telling tale

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 22 July 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b2953
  1. Theodore Dalrymple, writer and retired doctor

    For half a century the Indian author R K Narayan chronicled the everyday life of his fictional town of Malgudi, in reality his home town of Mysore. He had that ability to see (and convey in words) a universe in a grain of sand that is, perhaps, the mark of a great writer.

    The protagonist of his short story “The Doctor’s Word,” published in 1947 in the collection The Astrologer’s Day, is Dr Raman. He is a specialist of sorts: people go or are brought to him only as a last resort. This causes Dr Raman to demand why they did not come to him earlier, exactly the question …

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