Daily Notes on Literature, Pop Culture & Media, and Academia

Siddhartha Mukherjee’s “The Emperor of All Maladies”

Posted by litdaily on November 12, 2010

Siddhartha Mukherjee’s impressively titled book The Emperor of All Maladies is getting the “Franzen treatment” at The New York Times as it was reviewed twice in the past week. You can find the reviews here and here. Dr. Mukherjee’s book is a biography of cancer and traces the politics of its research through the years, stories of cancer patients, and the changing metaphors for the disease.

Since Mukherjee grew up in New Delhi, there is also the customary (and annoying) Bollywood reference as one of the reviews describes that he “looks less like a scientist than like the leading man in a Bollywood musical.” With this book, Mukherjee joins the list of South Asian American physicians like Abraham Verghese and Atul Gawande, who have successfully combined the literary impulse with the scientific one.


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