Non-Fiction Book Club: God's Hotel
God's Hotel: a doctor, a hospital, and a pilgrimage to the heart of medicine
by Victoria Sweet
San Francisco's Laguna Honda Hospital is the last almshouse in the country, a descendant of the Hotel-Dieu (God's Hotel) that cared for the sick in the Middle Ages. Ballet dancers and rock musicians, professors and thieves--"anyone who had fallen, or, often, leapt, onto hard times" and needed extended medical care-ended up here. So did Victoria Sweet, who came for two months and stayed for twenty years.
Laguna Honda, lower tech but human paced, gave Sweet the opportunity to practice a kind of attentive medicine that has almost vanished. Gradually, the place transformed the way she understood her work. Alongside the modern view of the body as a machine to be fixed, her extraordinary patients evoked an older idea, of the body as a garden to be tended. God's Hotel tells their story and the story of the hospital itself, which, as efficiency experts, politicians, and architects descended, determined to turn it into a modern "health care facility," revealed its own surprising truths about the essence, cost, and value of caring for body and soul"
- Friday, January 25, 2019
- 2:00pm - 3:00pm
- Conference Room A
- Fremont Main Library
The Library is wheelchair accessible. An ASL (American Sign Language) interpreter will be provided for this program if requested at least 7 days in advance. For assistance, please contact your library or firstname.lastname@example.org. Events subject to change or cancellation without prior notice.
All Alameda County Library events are free.