by William Carlos Williams (Robert Coles, compiler), 142 pp, $13.50, paper $4.95, New York, New Directions Publishing Corp, 1984.
Like a photograph taking on sharpness in the developer, the complete literary picture of William Carlos Williams is gradually taking shape. In Rutherford, NJ, Williams' house at 9 Ridge Rd is well on its way to becoming a literary shrine. In that house, and from it, Dr Williams lived and practiced medicine for 50 years. Williams (1883-1963), as more and more people know, was a generalist with an abiding interest in pediatrics—a generalist because during his lifetime he did many things in medicine, including delivering some 3,000 babies. Moreover, Williams delivered himself of an enormous amount of literature: hundreds of poems (for which he was awarded, posthumously, the Pulitzer Prize), novels, plays, an engaging and important autobiography, and short stories.
Dr Robert Coles, himself a prolific writer (and Pulitzer Prize winner), has rendered both Williams and his readers a service by compiling The Doctor Stories: those stories that deal with
Stone J. The Doctor Stories. JAMA. 1985;254(10):1376. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03360100130029