Following A Nonfiction Writer: Atul Gawande

To start my search for a writer worth following, I turned to the ever-reliable New Yorker. Keeping to the nonfiction, I came across an article about the dilemma many Americans face regarding the question of health care. The article was aptly titled “Is Health Care A Right?” and followed the stories and perspectives of multiple people from the writer’s hometown. That writer was Atul Gawande, and after enjoying this first article of his that I read, I looked into him to find that he is a writer of some repute. Atul has been a staff writer for The New Yorker since 1998, and has written many articles in that time, mostly following issues of health and medicine (he has an extensive background in the medical field, as well as writing). I looked over another article of his from The New Yorker, titled “States of Health” from 2013, analyzing the variations of health care across different states. Even between these two articles, Atul shows his ability to explore a topic in a more fact-based fashion as well as highly personalized vignettes, in either case showing his extensive understanding of the subject while elaborating its more complex characteristics in a consumable way, even to a woefully uninformed reader like myself.

His personal website has links to all of these articles, as well as a few from Slate, though the number of articles from him here seems to have died down after getting hired at The New Yorker. Aside from his impressive history of essays, Atul has four published books, the most recent of which – Being Moral – having become a New York Times bestseller. So, the good news is that if I ever need a well-written opinion on the health care debate, or simply feel the need to experience Atul’s lax yet informed style, I have plenty of avenues through which to do so. The bad news is I have a lot of catching up to do.

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