White Hot Light: Twenty-Five Years in Emergency Medicine

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$16.99  $15.80
Harper Perennial
Publish Date
5.3 X 7.9 X 0.6 inches | 0.55 pounds

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About the Author

An emergency physician in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Frank Huyler is the author of the essay collection The Blood of Strangers as well as the novel The Laws of Invisible Things. He grew up in Iran, Brazil, and Japan.


"High stakes lyricism infuses White Hot Light.... At times his style owes something to the rapturous economy of Denis Johnson, and the people drifting in and out could well find a home in a Johnson story.... Huyler's work is implicitly political -- he lays bare the cruelties of poverty, and of for-profit health care in particular -- but maintains an elemental tone." -- Harper's Magazine

"Huyler depicts the crises he treats with vivid and cinematic detail, but the book is less about the salacious depiction of trauma than it is an investigation into the vulnerabilities and resiliencies of human nature." -- Santa Fe Reporter

"Frank Huyler's two collections of short personal pieces documenting his life in the ER--The Blood of Strangers and White Hot Light--are both masterpieces in my opinion, at once so powerful and so beautiful that I rank him as one of the finest writer-doctors since Chekov." -- Paul Auster

"Huyler, an ER doctor who began as a poet, is a writer who makes every word count.... In terse, riveting vignettes, Huyler confronts us with enigmas, images and ironies often memorably welded together. The work of a now veteran ER physician, White Hot Light offers added authority ("The Gun Show" should be required reading for every American) - and also wisdom, as Huyler turns his cool gaze not only outward but also inward." -- Rachel Hadas, TLS Books of the Year

"Haunting...instantly grabs readers' attention....Huyler's compassionate perspective and gripping stories result in a memorable account of the life he leads and the patients he sees, and sometimes saves." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Tales from the emergency room, told with no-nonsense brevity, clarity, and compassion. In this long-awaited follow-up to The Blood of Strangers, Huyler returns with more interesting, largely stand-alone stories from his work in an ER in Albuquerque.... The title aptly describes the illumination Huyler brings to patient care--and to writing about it." -- Kirkus

"[Huyler] tells it like it is, but also manages to craft these windows into various lives that will haunt you long after you're done.... Captures life, death, the decisions that change our lives, violence, and grace--all at once." -- Book Riot

"Huyler brings a beauty and thoughtfulness to crucial issues affecting medicine and society at large. Within the visceral brutality, the writing is thoughtful and self-reflective, the collection a study of caring." -- Shelf Awareness