God's Hotel

A Doctor, a Hospital, and a Pilgrimage to the Heart of Medicine

By Victoria Sweet
(Riverhead Books, Hardcover, 9781594488436, 372pp.)

Publication Date: April 26, 2012

List Price: $27.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.
Shop Local
Enter your zip code below to find indies closest to you.

Go


Description
San Francisco's Laguna Honda Hospital is the last almshouse in the country, a descendant of the "HOtel-Dieu" (God's hotel) that cared for the sick in the Middle Ages. Ballet dancers and rock musicians, professors and thieves-"anyone who had fallen, or, often, leapt, onto hard times" and needed extended medical care-ended up here. So did Victoria Sweet, who came for two months and stayed for twenty years.

Laguna Honda, lower tech but human paced, gave Sweet the opportunity to practice a kind of attentive medicine that has almost vanished. Gradually, the place transformed the way she understood her work. Alongside the modern view of the body as a machine to be fixed, her extraordinary patients evoked an older idea, of the body as a garden to be tended. "God's Hotel" tells their story and the story of the hospital itself, which, as efficiency experts, politicians, and architects descended, determined to turn it into a modern "health care facility," revealed its own surprising truths about the essence, cost, and value of caring for body and soul.




About the Author
Victoria Sweet is an associate clinical professor of medicine at University of California, San Francisco. A prizewinning historian, she is also the author of "Rooted in the Earth, Rooted in the Sky".
Indie Bookstore Finder
EBbooks and EReaders
Find great gifts: Signed books
Link to IndieBound






Update Profile