Thursday, January 29, 2009

Review of Olaf on Bookotron

Rick Kleffel, who did an interview with me earlier this month, posted a very nice review of Doctor Olaf van Schuler's Brain on The Agony Column:
'Doctor Olaf Van Schuler's Brain' is a fascinating, glorious reading experience that will have you questioning everything around you long after you've finished the book. It is the perfect cure for certainty.

To read the entire review, see A Review of 'Doctor Olaf Van Schuler's Brain' by Kirsten Menger-Anderson: The Ineffable Beyond and Rick's additional commentary.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Doctor Olaf included in NYU's Literature, Arts, and Medicine Database

Doctor Olaf now appears in NYU's Literature, Arts, and Medicine Database, an " annotated multimedia listing of prose, poetry, film, video and art that was developed to be a dynamic, accessible, comprehensive resource for teaching and research in MEDICAL HUMANITIES, and for use in health/pre-health, graduate and undergraduate liberal arts and social science settings."

To read the entry for Dr. Olaf, see Doctor Olaf van Schuler's Brain.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Podcast of Writers on Writing interview

If you missed Marrie Stone's interview of me for "Writers on Writing," broadcast on KUCI back in November, you can catch the podcast here.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Interview with The Agony Column's Rick Kleffel

The first half of an interview I did with Rick Kleffel is now up on Bookotron! Kleffel introduces the podcast with some very nice words about Olaf:
When you look at a book as complicated, as enjoyable as wonderfully layered as 'Doctor Olaf Van Schuler's Brain' by Kirsten Menger-Anderson, music comes to mind... But what’s really wonderful about this book is just how much she packs into her linked short stories; great characters, echoing themes, parallel lives, and so much more. This is a book that will suit a wide variety of readers, from the McSweeney's and art-house literary gang to the science-fiction loving readers of this column. And though it has so much in it, it does feel just like the symphony you suspect it is as you read, a beautiful melodic sweep though medical — and human — history.

To listen to the interview, see A 2009 Interview with Kirsten Menger-Anderson Part 1: Writing "Reading Grandpa's Head and Part 2: The Family Tree.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Doctor Olaf reviewed in the Internet Review of Books

Ruth Douillette reviews Doctor Olaf for the Internet Review of Books:
Dr. Olaf Van Schuler’s Brain is an intriguing string of 13 stories...there are tasty treats aplenty in this book.

To read the entire review, see Manifest madness.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Olaf recommended by Books on the Nightstand--in Podcast!

Books on the Nightstand--"illuminating conversations on books and reading"-- included a segment on Doctor Olaf in this week's podcast.

Ann Kingman says the following about Olaf:
I heard from one of my bookseller friends...'have you read Doctor Olaf van Schuler's Brain, because if you haven't, let me know and I'm going to send you a copy.' And for a bookseller to offer to send me a book always means that I have to drop everything and read it because it's just that good... I absolutely loved it.

To hear the entire podcast, see Episode 22. Check out Books ont he Nightstand on Facebook or Goodreads or at Books on the Nightstand.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Madison Public Library likes Doctor Olaf!

Today's google search for Doctor Olaf returned a nice blog entry from the Madison Public Library:
Menger-Anderson’s descriptions of the evolution of surgical practice and its consequences make these stories truly unforgettable. I normally don’t get excited about scientific writing, fiction or nonfiction, but in these tales, the surgeries are surrounded with an aura of mystery and magic that’s absent from modern medicine, and the characters that inhabit the stories are so elegantly written that the stories become more about the doctors’ obsessions with understanding the workings of the body than their literal blood and guts.

To read the entire entry, see Mind over matter?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Olaf in the Minneapolis Star Tribune

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reviews Doctor Olaf:

"[A] fascinating look at how beliefs about medicine and New York society have changed. . . Each story is a tasty morsel."

For the complete review, see The browser: a quick look at recent releases.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Education and Insanity?

The past few weeks, I've been busy blogging about Olaf reviews and appearances and not the odd and interesting medical topics that inspired the blog. Today, however, I'd like to share some food for thought in the form of a brief quote taken from Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers:
In 1871 [coincidentally, the year in which "Neurasthenia: A Victorian Love Story" is set]...the U.S. commissioner of education published a report by Edward Jarvis on the "Relation of Education to Insanity." Jarvis had studied 1,741 cases of insanity and concluded that "over-study" was responsible for 205 of them. "Education lays the foundation of a large portion of the causes of mental disorder," Jarvis wrote.

Interesting.... According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, Jarvis (among other things) "had unsuccessful medical practices in Massachusetts and Kentucky. He returned to the Boston area in 1843 and began seeing, treating, and housing mentally ill patients in his home."

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Olaf selected as one of 2008's best books by the Sun Sentinel

Doctor Olaf is included in Chauncey Mabe's list of best books for 2008! Here's the link: Best books of 2008: Robert Olen Butler to Stephen King.