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The Beauty in Breaking: A Memoir
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Published:
Penguin Publishing Group 2020
Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
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Description
A New York Times BestsellerA New York Times Notable Book“Riveting, heartbreaking, sometimes difficult, always inspiring.” —The New York Times Book ReviewAs seen/heard on Fresh AirThe Daily Show with Trevor Noah, NBC Nightly News, MSNBC, Weekend Edition, and moreAn emergency room physician explores how a life of service to others taught her how to heal herself.Michele Harper is a female, African American emergency room physician in a profession that is overwhelmingly male and white. Brought up in Washington, D.C., in a complicated family, she went to Harvard, where she met her husband. They stayed together through medical school until two months before she was scheduled to join the staff of a hospital in central Philadelphia, when he told her he couldn’t move with her. Her marriage at an end, Harper began her new life in a new city, in a new job, as a newly single woman.In the ensuing years, as Harper learned to become an effective ER physician, bringing insight and empathy to every patient encounter, she came to understand that each of us is broken—physically, emotionally, psychically. How we recognize those breaks, how we try to mend them, and where we go from there are all crucial parts of the healing process.The Beauty in Breaking is the poignant true story of Harper’s journey toward self-healing. Each of the patients Harper writes about taught her something important about recuperation and recovery. How to let go of fear even when the future is murky: How to tell the truth when it’s simpler to overlook it. How to understand that compassion isn’t the same as justice. As she shines a light on the systemic disenfranchisement of the patients she treats as they struggle to maintain their health and dignity, Harper comes to understand the importance of allowing ourselves to make peace with the past as we draw support from the present. In this hopeful, moving, and beautiful book, she passes along the precious, necessary lessons that she has learned as a daughter, a woman, and a physician.
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Street Date:
07/07/2020
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780525537403
ASIN:
B081M7YTFC
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Michele Harper. (2020). The Beauty in Breaking: A Memoir. Penguin Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Michele Harper. 2020. The Beauty in Breaking: A Memoir. Penguin Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Michele Harper, The Beauty in Breaking: A Memoir. Penguin Publishing Group, 2020.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Michele Harper. The Beauty in Breaking: A Memoir. Penguin Publishing Group, 2020. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Jul 10, 2020 13:01:39
Date Updated:
Oct 30, 2020 08:10:29
Last Metadata Check:
Apr 20, 2021 09:12:25
Last Metadata Change:
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title
The Beauty in Breaking
fullDescription
A New York Times Bestseller
A New York Times Notable Book
“Riveting, heartbreaking, sometimes difficult, always inspiring.” —The New York Times Book Review

As seen/heard on Fresh AirThe Daily Show with Trevor Noah, NBC Nightly News, MSNBC, Weekend Edition, and more
An emergency room physician explores how a life of service to others taught her how to heal herself.

Michele Harper is a female, African American emergency room physician in a profession that is overwhelmingly male and white. Brought up in Washington, D.C., in a complicated family, she went to Harvard, where she met her husband. They stayed together through medical school until two months before she was scheduled to join the staff of a hospital in central Philadelphia, when he told her he couldn’t move with her. Her marriage at an end, Harper began her new life in a new city, in a new job, as a newly single woman.
In the ensuing years, as Harper learned to become an effective ER physician, bringing insight and empathy to every patient encounter, she came to understand that each of us is broken—physically, emotionally, psychically. How we recognize those breaks, how we try to mend them, and where we go from there are all crucial parts of the healing process.
The Beauty in Breaking is the poignant true story of Harper’s journey toward self-healing. Each of the patients Harper writes about taught her something important about recuperation and recovery. How to let go of fear even when the future is murky: How to tell the truth when it’s simpler to overlook it. How to understand that compassion isn’t the same as justice. As she shines a light on the systemic disenfranchisement of the patients she treats as they struggle to maintain their health and dignity, Harper comes to understand the importance of allowing ourselves to make peace with the past as we draw support from the present. In this hopeful, moving, and beautiful book, she passes along the precious, necessary lessons that she has learned as a daughter, a woman, and a physician.
reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        April 15, 2020
        An African American emergency room physician reflects on how "the chaos of emergency medicine" helped her come to terms with a painful past and understand the true nature of healing. Though Harper grew up a member of the Washington, D.C. "black elite," the beautiful homes she shared with her parents held a dark secret: domestic violence. Determined to "fix people" rather than hurt them the way her abusive father hurt her family, Harper became an ER doctor. Her path was difficult. After she accepted her first post-residency job, the man she had met at Harvard and later married walked away from their relationship. Braving a life on her own in a new city, night shifts in an urban hospital, and the life-and-death dramas of the ER ward, Harper began a period of intense soul-searching. Observations of her patients and the struggles they faced taught her abundant lessons in human brokenness--especially her own--and resilience. A newborn baby whose death she could not explain helped her learn to open her heart and truly feel. A white male patient who had committed sexual assault on a female doctor forced the author to push past old memories of her father's abuse and feelings of rage to see a human being in pain. A young black man brought to the ER ward by white police officers who unsuccessfully tried forcing him to submit to medical examination for drugs reminded Harper of her own struggles as a black woman in an overwhelmingly white profession. It also made her realize that "America bears...many layers of racial wounds, both chronic and acute," and that part of her purpose was to continue her fight to promote social healing. Tackling such painful subjects as domestic abuse, trauma, and racism with grace and wisdom, this eloquent book probes the human condition as it chronicles a woman's ever evolving spiritual journey. A profoundly humane memoir from a thoughtful doctor.

        COPYRIGHT(2020) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        May 1, 2020

        Harper, a practiced emergency medicine physician, recounts her experience with patients in various emergency rooms. In addition to lessons learned from these encounters, Harper also shares the intimate details of her complicated upbringing to illustrate how people are broken and how they can heal. There is something relatable and illuminating in every story here, and this memoir's honesty and compassion proves it is possible to mend brokenness. Harper offers a guide to healing from hardship, and her ability to humanize every patient makes the insight she shares invaluable. Whether describing a physical, emotional, or mental break, Harper makes a convincing case that there is beauty throughout difficult times. For readers grappling with various challenges, Harper's words inspire hope and understanding of the importance of finding peace and acceptance of the past. VERDICT Poignant, helpful, and encouraging, Harper's lessons from life in and outside of the emergency room ultimately teach readers how to trust the healing process.--Rich McIntyre Jr., UConn Health Sciences Lib., Farmington

        Copyright 2020 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from May 11, 2020
        In this compassionate memoir, Harper, an African-American ER physician, reflects upon her career, sharing stories that take the reader “into the chaos of emergency medicine.” Growing up as a member of Washington, D.C.’s “black elite,” Harper, whose father was also a physician, lived with the dark secret of his domestic abuse, her days “routinely punctuated by bursts of violence.” When her brother John’s hand is injured in a fight with their father, she takes him to the ER. Seeing the ER, a place “so quiet and yet so throbbing with life,” inspires her to become a doctor. Upon graduating from Harvard, Harper lives and works in New York City with her husband (also a Harvard grad), but when she accepts her first post-residency in Philadelphia, the marriage dissolves when her independent filmmaker husband declares that he needs to focus on his career and “find himself.” While devastating, the divorce allowed her to immerse herself in her position as the director of performance improvement in the ER. Taking on the painful topics of trauma, domestic abuse, and the “ubiquitous microaggressions faced by people of color,” especially in the medical profession, Harper seeks to understand the human condition and persistent societal issues that impact care in urban hospitals. Harper witnesses the resilience of the human spirit of her patients and begins her own process of self-healing through yoga and meditation. This powerful story will resonate with readers, especially physicians.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        June 1, 2020
        From the start, Harper claims that she has no special powers, nor does she know how to handle death any better than you. But as an ER physician, she certainly has confronted the grim reaper far more often than most. In this compelling, firsthand memoir, she offers a portrait of life on the medical frontlines as seen from a female and African American perspective. She recounts her life?a privileged upbringing in Washington, D.C. (although one punctuated by violence), a marriage that fell apart, medical school, and a new city and fresh start?yet it is patients she focuses on: a newborn with no pulse; a patient who, without warning, punches her in the face; a young woman serving in the military in Afghanistan who was raped by her commanding officer. Bearing witness to human suffering day after day takes its physical and emotional toll, Harper admits, but, as a healer, she also considers brokenness to be a remarkable gift. In this time of heroic nurses fighting a pandemic, Harper allows readers to experience the healing process through her knowing eyes.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2020, American Library Association.)

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A New York Times Bestseller
A New York Times Notable Book
“Riveting, heartbreaking, sometimes difficult, always inspiring.” —The New York Times Book Review

As seen/heard on Fresh AirThe Daily Show with Trevor Noah, NBC Nightly News, MSNBC, Weekend Edition, and more
An emergency room physician explores how a life of service to others taught her how to heal herself.

Michele Harper is a female, African American emergency room physician in a profession that is overwhelmingly male and white. Brought up in Washington, D.C., in a complicated family, she went to Harvard, where she met her husband. They stayed together through medical school until two months before she was scheduled to join the staff of a hospital in central Philadelphia, when he told her he couldn’t move with her. Her marriage at an end, Harper began her new life in a new city, in a new job, as...
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