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Book review
Black Bag Moon: Doctors’ Tales from Dusk to Dawn
  1. Ann Robinson
  1. Correspondence to Dr Ann Robinson, GP surgery, 55 Mountfield Rd, London N3 3NR, UK; drannrobinson{at}

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Susan Woldenberg Butler. Published by Radcliffe Publishing Ltd, 2012, paperback, 172pp. ISBN 9781846199707, £18.99.

The author of this collection of fictionalised medical vignettes is a ‘doctor's wife who keeps her ears open.’ Susan Woldenberg Butler managed her husband's medical practice in a small Canadian country town before he ‘slid completely into academia’. She interviewed family doctors around the world, and has produced a slim volume of fly-on-the-wall short stories that highlight current issues and universal themes.

Each chapter is told by a fictionalised doctor. The scene is set in note form at the start of the chapter. The short story is told in the first person, the scene is set, characters introduced, and a medical scenario described. The doctor acts, opines and muses. It's a bit like one of those rural GP programmes they show on telly in the afternoons, but with less sex.

I set out to read this slim book with high hopes and a pleasant sense of expectation. The author is American by birth and has lived in Australia for many years. She is a history graduate and works as a writer and in desktop publishing. She lists her interests as international development and health, environmentalism and Buddhism. I …

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