Monday, February 18, 2008

Bill Hayes Reading from his Book The Anatomist, NYC!

I recently finished reading The Anatomist: A True Story of Gray's Anatomy. The book is a curious mix--as much a personal memoir as a biography, and much more of a biography of Henry Vandyke Carter, the illustrator of Gray's Anatomy , then of Henry Grey, about whom very little (apparently) is known.

In the process of researching his subjects, Hayes touches (conversationally and engagingly) on under-known facts of medical history, the world of contemporary medicine and dissection, the imaginative leaps of the biographer, and the drive of a very personal curiosity. I expected not to like the book--I think of the illustrative style of Gray's Anatomy as signaling the shift to the aloof, academic (read: boring and soulless) style of anatomical depiction; I was surprised by how much I did enjoy this book, and am pleased that the public at large seems interested as well.

Tomorrow--Tuesday February 19th--Hayes will read from The Anatomist at 192 Books at 7:00 PM. Find out more info here.

All images from Bartleby's online 1918 version of Gray's Anatomy. View all the illustrations from this edition here.

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