Osler Literary Roundtable
Lunch & Literature
Every Friday, Noon – 1:00 pm
Room 1993, Duke Clinic
(First room on the right after you pass through main entrance)
Enjoy listening to guest authors read from their writings and share in lively discussions about literature with other Duke colleagues. Sessions are designed to provide contemplation and insight on the different ways in which people perceive the world, illustrate how given circumstances shape us, with discussions that generate compassion and a greater facility to empathize with our coworkers and patients.
9/28 Special Guest Speakers: Florence Nash & Barbara Newborg
Walter Kempner and the Rice Diet: Challenging Conventional Wisdom
In 1934, a brilliant young scientist, Walter Kempner (1903-1997), was brought as a refugee from Nazi Germany to join the faculty of Duke Hospital’s department of medicine. His unconventional research in the origins and treatment of metabolic diseases provoked wide attention and considerable controversy, but the results of his strict diet regimen were undeniable. Patients flocking to Durham for the famous Rice Diet found their diabetes, kidney and cardiovascular diseases—once considered fatal—cured or greatly improved. The headline-grabbing success of Dr. Kempner’s diet contributed significantly over the years to Durham’s economic growth and Duke’s transformation into a world-famous center for medical research and care.
Barbara Newborg (B.A. Swarthmore College '41, M.D. Johns Hopkins University '49) is Associate Professor of Medicine Emeritus at Duke University, where she was chief medical associate to Dr. Walter Kempner in the Duke Rice Diet Program.
Florence Nash worked as a writer and editor at Duke Medical Center for 16 years. Her poems, book and music reviews, program notes, and feature articles have appeared here and on the West Coast. She has taught poetry and music in public schools and for Duke Continuing Studies, and since 2000, she has led the poetry workshop for Duke’s Osher Institute for Life-long Learning.
10/12 Special Guest Speaker: Wendy Call
No Word for Welcome: The Mexican Village Faces the Global Economy
Wendy Call will discuss her experiences living and working in rural, southern Mexico – the setting for her award-winning book, No Word for Welcome: The Mexican Village Faces the Global Economy. She will also talk about her personal experience at DUMC, where her mother was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer in 2006. Wendy’s essay about her mother’s experience, “Grief’s Hidden Gift,” won an “Excellence in Journalism” award from the Society for Professional Journalists.
Wendy Call is a recent Writer in Residence at Cornell College, Harborview Medical Center, and New College of Florida. She co-edited Telling True Stories: A Nonfiction Writers’ Guide. Her narrative nonfiction book No Word for Welcome: The Mexican Village Faces the Global Economy won Grub Street’s 2011 National Book Prize for Nonfiction and the International Latino Book Award for Best History / Political Book. She is currently working on a cycle of essays titled “Grief’s Hidden Gifts,” thanks to support from the American Antiquarian Society and 4Culture, the arts and culture commission of King County, Washington. She lives and works in Seattle and often visits her family in the Triangle area.
10/26 Special Event
Come celebrate and reminisce as we remember 26 years of literary discussions at Osler Literary Roundtable. Light lunch will be served.