Books, Journals, New Media Section Editor: Harriet
S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA; Journal
Review Editor: Brenda L. Seago, MLS, MA, Medical College of Virginia, Virginia
In his novel The Healer, author Michael Blumlein
spins a dramatic tale centered on the life of Payne, a “starry-eyed,
idealistic” member of a downtrodden ethnic minority group called Grotesques.
Tesques, as members of this group are referred to by humans to whom they are
subservient, are analogues of humans, with the exception of an occipital deformity
and a chest orifice called the Os melior.
The Os melior bestows Tesques with extraordinary
healing powers, making them a “precious commodity” for humans,
who transport them like chattel around the world in their indefatigable quest
for economic prosperity. Unlike other Tesque healers, who have developed an
aversion to their healing powers because of the consequent servitude, Payne
views his healing powers as a gift that represents the only foreseeable means,
save violence, of convincing humans of the merits of embracing equality.
Hazin R. Fiction. JAMA. 2005;294(8):966-968. doi:10.1001/jama.294.8.966-b