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Beautiful Unbroken : One Nurse's Life
by Mary Jane Nealon


Overview -

An unflinching memoir by a working nurse

As a child, Mary Jane Nealon dreams of growing up to become a saint or, failing that, a nurse. She idolizes Clara Barton, Kateri Tekakwitha, and Molly Pitcher, whose biographies she reads and rereads.  Read more...


 
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More About Beautiful Unbroken by Mary Jane Nealon
 
 
 
Overview

An unflinching memoir by a working nurse

As a child, Mary Jane Nealon dreams of growing up to become a saint or, failing that, a nurse. She idolizes Clara Barton, Kateri Tekakwitha, and Molly Pitcher, whose biographies she reads and rereads. But by the time she follows her calling to nursing school, her beloved younger brother is diagnosed with cancer, which challenges her to bring hope and healing closer to home. His death leaves her shattered, and she flees into her work, and into poetry.

"Beautiful Unbroken "details Nealon's life of caregiving, from her years as a flying nurse, untethered and free to follow friends and jobs from the Southwest to Savannah, to more somber years in New York City, treating men in a homeless shelter on the Bowery and working in the city's first AIDS wards. In this compelling and revealing memoir, Nealon brings a poet's sensitivity to bear on the hard truths of disease and recovery, life and death.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781555975906
  • ISBN-10: 1555975909
  • Publisher: Graywolf Press
  • Publish Date: July 2011
  • Page Count: 212
  • Dimensions: 8.25 x 5.69 x 0.65 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.65 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Biography & Autobiography > Medical - General
Books > Biography & Autobiography > Personal Memoirs
Books > Biography & Autobiography > Women

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2011-05-09
  • Reviewer: Staff

With a seasoned nurse's practicality and a poet's skill with words, Nealon (Immaculate Fuel; Rogue Apostle) relates her escape from personal tragedy by treating patients near death—children with cancer, patients with HIV/AIDS—and subsequent healing. Nealon, who lives in Missoula, Mont., contrasts her confidence as a nurse, helping others to transcend suffering, with her failings off the job (e.g., leaving home when her brother was dying; running from her mother's criticism), pointing to epiphanies (forsaking her Laura Ashley wardrobe, leaving a coveted starfish on the beach) that taught her to cast off sadness and led her to pursue poetry, earn an M.F.A. from Warren Wilson College, and care for her parents before they died. Evocatively told, Nealon's stirring story provides insight into the small acts that ease great pain. (Aug.)

 
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