The Tincture of Time by Elizabeth L. Silver
A Memoir of (Medical) Uncertainty

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The attempt to balance personal trauma with wider cultural reference is a tricky challenge, but this will resonate with anyone who has experienced diagnostic difficulties.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

Set against the unexplained stroke of the author’s newborn daughter, this stunning, unflinchingly honest memoir is a thought-provoking reflection on uncertainty in medicine and in life.


Growing up as the daughter of a dedicated surgeon, Elizabeth L. Silver felt an unquestioned faith in medicine. When her six-week-old daughter, Abby, was rushed to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit with sudden seizures, and scans revealed a serious brain bleed, her relationship to medicine began to change.

The Tincture of Time is Silver’s gorgeous and haunting chronicle of Abby’s first year. It’s a year of unending tests, doctors’ opinions, sleepless nights, promising signs and steps backward, and above all, uncertainty: The mysterious circumstances of Abby’s hospitalization attract dozens of specialists, none of whom can offer a conclusive answer about what went wrong or what the future holds. As Silver explores what it means to cope with uncertainty as a patient and parent and seeks peace in the reality that Abby’s injury may never be fully understood, she looks beyond her own story for comfort, probing literature and religion, examining the practice of medicine throughout history, and reporting the experiences of doctors, patients, and fellow caretakers. The result is a brilliant blend of personal narrative and cultural analysis, at once a poignant snapshot of a parent’s struggle and a wise meditation on the reality of uncertainty, in and out of medicine, and the hard-won truth that time is often its only cure.

Heart-wrenching, unflinchingly honest, and beautifully written, The Tincture of Time is a powerful story of parenthood, an astute examination of the boundaries of medicine, and an inspiring reminder of life’s precariousness.
 

About Elizabeth L. Silver

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ELIZABETH L. SILVER was born in New Orleans in 1978 and currently lives in Los Angeles. She holds a BA from the University of Pennsylvania, an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia in England, and a JD from Temple University Beasley School of Law. The Execution of Noa P. Singleton is her first novel.
 
Published April 25, 2017 by Penguin Press. 265 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Parenting & Relationships, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction
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Kirkus

Above average
on Feb 20 2017

The attempt to balance personal trauma with wider cultural reference is a tricky challenge, but this will resonate with anyone who has experienced diagnostic difficulties.

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