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More Than it Hurts You

by Darin Strauss

What does it feel like when the health professionals believe you have harmed your baby? Part hospital- part courtroom-drama, the sense of unease never quite lets up. At one moment your sympathies are with the painfully honest black woman doctor who has succeeded in her profession against all odds, the next with the young parents (but aren't they a bit irritating?). Who is telling the truth?

Extract

Josh, a genius of optimism, had no talent for despair. How could he have? When Josh had been a kid his own father would lift him to the ceiling and goof: 'Nothing bad can happen to a Superboy.' He'd lived happily, he was coveted and appealing, he entertained, but Josh's imagination was limited. It didn't stretch far enough, that rickety bridge, to lead him to the unfamiliar. And yet, sitting in the cafeteria - he pictured Zack's funeral: shiny brown coffin, yellow bulldozer, sinister hole in the earth .... He imagined shovelling the dirt himself, everyone super-quiet, the only noises the earth scattering on the polished lid. And the crying, Josh even guessed how a baby's death might feel - an eternity of never being able to talk.

Parallels

Seesaw by Deborah Moggach
Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe
 

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