Five Days at MemorialPulitzer Prize-winner Sheri Fink’s landmark work of narrative nonfiction –Five Days at Memorial– re-creates the world of a hospital ravaged by post-Katrina floodwaters and examines the central question of what doctors and other caregivers owe their patients in the best, and worst, of circumstances.

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Read the early praise:

“In this astonishing blend of Pulitzer Prize–winning journalism (Fink, who also has an M.D. and Ph.D., won the award for the investigative reporting on which this book is based) and breathtaking narration, she chronicles the chaotic evacuation of the hospital and the agonizing ethical, physical, and emotional quandaries facing Memorial nurses and doctors, including a nightmarish triage process that led to the controversial decision to inject critically ill patients with fatal doses of morphine in order to refocus attention on those with a chance of surviving.”—Publisher’s Weekly (starred review)

“Pulitzer Prize–winning medical journalist/investigator Fink (War Hospital, 2003) submits a sophisticated, detailed recounting of what happened at Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans during and after Hurricane Katrina. Fink draws those few days in the hospital’s life with a fine, lively pen, providing stunningly framed vignettes of activities in the hospital and sharp pocket profiles of many of the characters. She gives measured consideration to such explosive issues as class and race discrimination in medicine, end-of-life care, medical rationing and euthanasia, and she presents the injection of some patients with a cocktail of drugs to reduce their breathing in such a manner that readers will be able to fully fashion their own opinions. With apparent effortlessness, Fink tells the Memorial story with cogency and atmosphere.”—Kirkus Reviews

“A stunning re-creation of [Hurricane Katrina], its aftermath, and the investigation that followed … Both a breathtaking read and an essential book for understanding how people behave in times of crisis.” Booklist (starred)

Click to see some interesting videos of Sheri Fink talking about the conditions of aid and hospitals over time.

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Five Days at Memorial : Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital

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