The Dialysis Unit: Giving Voice to Silent Ruminations

Sorrow’s Reward takes place in a dialysis unit, where patients with kidney failure receive their treatment. Reflecting the spirit of Edgar Lee Masters’ Spoon River Anthology, it gives voice to the silent ruminations of patients, doctors, health care workers, administrators, health care industry representatives, and family members as they reflect upon their lives and upon their experiences in this unique and special place.


Each entry stands alone; each makes a comment, subtle or direct, upon the rich, sad intricacy of life. Yet as the book develops, the threads of these reflections are drawn together and intertwined, as individuals speak about their own existences and observe and pass judgment on the posturing and behaviour of those they see around them. And while these stories are being told, tragic events occur, passions are revealed, and hidden lives are laid bare.


Sorrow’s Reward is set in a bleak and unremitting environment, one dominated by the numbing realities of contemporary health care, chronic illness, and death. This book provides shocking insights into this environment, but also transcends it entirely, embracing themes that are universal in their meaning and appeal, themes that speak personally and touchingly to each of us about our mortality, the nature of courage, the meaning of legacy and how little we really know of the lives of others.


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