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Books, Journals, New Media
April 23/30, 2003

Fiction

JAMA. 2003;289(16):2146-2147. doi:10.1001/jama.289.16.2146-a

A shrunken head, the world's largest butterfly, a severed thumb preserved in formaldehyde, cannibalism, and a cow sipping water from a baptismal font are just a few of the many unusual things that physician-author John Murray has assembled in his collection of stories, A Few Short Notes on Tropical Butterflies. And if you think those entities are odd, then wait until you meet the peculiar characters that inhabit these pages. They include a one-eyed ophthalmologist, a psychiatry resident who might be crazy, and a trauma surgeon in need of, you guessed it, trauma surgery. With settings as diverse as New Guinea, Key West, Africa, the Himalayas, and Iowa, the eight stories comprising this book suggest that displacement is more a state of mind than a matter of geography.

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