Available Jan 10, 2023
The inspiring story of a doctor who helped to create a medical system for the homeless people of Boston - by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Mountains Beyond Mountains.
Nearly forty years ago, after Jim O’Connell graduated from Harvard Medical School and was nearing the end of his residency at Massachusetts General Hospital, the Chief of Medicine made a proposal: would Jim defer a prestigious fellowship and spend a year as a doctor to homeless citizens? Jim took the job because he felt he couldn’t refuse. But that year turned into his life’s calling—to serve the city’s unhoused population, especially the “rough sleepers,” people who sleep on the streets, in the rough.
Advance praise for Rough Sleepers:
“What does it mean, in our time of inequality, to care for the vulnerable in ways that strengthen the better angels of our common humanity? Tracy Kidder’s book, and the work of Dr. Jim O’Connell, connect us to unforgettable individuals, who allow us to get closer to the suffering that is only one part of what we need to see."
—Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, author of Random Family
“The nightmare of homelessness can seem both overwhelming and slightly abstract to the safely housed. That abstraction vanishes in the pages of Rough Sleepers. Tracy Kidder has reported the hell out of important stories before, but never more finely and relentlessly. The Sisyphean work of Dr. Jim O’Connell and his team, the embattled humanity of their patients living on the cold streets of Boston—it’s a story full of hard questions, a story with many heroes.”
“I couldn’t put Rough Sleepers down till the last page. Kidder's writing sidesteps labels like “homeless” to reveal the humanity of those who live on the streets. I agonized with the dedicated physician and the army of others who give their lives to a cause most of us pretend is invisible; I rejoiced in the fleeting victories. As with Mountains Beyond Mountains, I am left in awe of the human spirit and inspired to do better. That is Kidder’s genius.”
—Abraham Verghese, author of Cutting for Stone
“The estimable Tracy Kidder has found another unsung saint—this time not in the back country of Haiti or in genocide-ravaged Burundi, but, literally, on the streets of a major American city. And once again, as with his earlier books, this finely-crafted story sheds light on a larger landscape of injustice.”
—Adam Hochschild, author of American Midnight: The Great War, a Violent Peace, and Democracy’s Forgotten Crisis
“Tracy Kidder has done it yet again. Rough Sleepers will do for homelessness what Mountains Beyond Mountains did for public health. Kidder introduces us to this wondrous cast of characters who have been completely shunted aside. He doesn't let us look away. And we take this journey alongside this astonishingly bighearted, patient, thoughtful man in Jim O'Connell, a doctor to the homeless. I'm in awe of this book. I'm in awe of Jim O'Connell. What a compellingly beautiful, inspiring read.”
—Alex Kotlowitz, bestselling author of There Are No Children Here
With A Truck Full of Money, Tracy Kidder returns to the world he first explored 30 years ago in The Soul of a New Machine. It was a bestseller on its first publication in 1981 and was awarded both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award (then called The American Book Award). With the touch of an expert thriller writer, Kidder recounts the feverish efforts of a team of Data General researchers to create a new 32-bit superminicomputer. A compelling account of individual sacrifice and human ingenuity, The Soul of a New Machine endures as the classic chronicle of the computer age and the masterminds behind its technological advances
“A superb book,” said Robert Pirsig, author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. “All the incredible complexity and chaos and exploitation and loneliness and strange, half-mad beauty of this field are honestly and correctly drawn.”
The Washington Post Book World said, “Kidder has created compelling entertainment. He offers a fast, painless, enjoyable means to an initial understanding of computers, allowing us to understand the complexity of machines we could only marvel at before, and to appreciate the skills of the people who create them.” Read more