Truth and fact have been at odds for centuries. If humankind had never crossed the bridge from superstition to science, we would still be afraid of falling from the edge of the earth. Curiosity, that passion to understand and prove the unseen, has awarded us with air travel, microwave ovens, heart transplants and the laptop computer on which this article is written. Science paved the way for facts to capitalize the T of Truth, but writers and journalists pared them down for ordinary people to understand. This week in #litchat we’re discussing the flashlight of truth in nonfiction.
Joining us on Friday, April 15, is historian Holly Tucker, author of Blood Work, A Tale of Murder and Medicine in the Scientific Revolution. It’s the story of blood—particularly, blood transfusion—told through the hindsight of history and the facts we now consider fundamental to medicine. Tucker writes with vivid understanding of that time in humanity’s past when the human body was sacrosanct and the blood became a battleground of religion, politics and science.
Tucker is a multi-discipline scholar with concentrations in French, political science and the history of science and medicine. She earned her Ph.D. at University of Wisconsin at Madison and is an interdisciplinary professor of French & Italian and at at the Center for Medicine, Health & Society at Vanderbilt University.
Tucker’s recent publications include articles in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, Clinical Genetics, The Modern Language Journal, MLA Approaches to Teaching Literature, as well as books: Pregnant Fictions: Childbirth and the Fairy Tale in Early-Modern France (2003); SLA and the Literature Classroom: Fostering Dialogues (2001, with V. Scott); and Reframing the Early French Tale, a special issue of Marvel & Tales for which she served as guest editor (2005).
In additional to her scholarly publications, Tucker writes on culture and medicine for the popular press. Her articles have appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, Christian Science Monitor, The New Scientist and The Wall Street Journal.
She lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband, daughter and a dog named Lucky Shakespeare.
Follow Holly Tucker on Twitter: @history_geek.