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The Puzzle People: Memoirs of a Transplant Surgeon

Ben Eiseman, MD
Arch Surg. 1992;127(9):1009-1011. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1992.01420090013002.
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Later this month, the University of Pittsburgh (Pa) Press will release the autobiography of Thomas E. Starzl, entitled The Puzzle People: Memoirs of a Transplant Surgeon. There is historic importance for the memoirs of a progenitor of a new surgical specialty. Such memoirs are made doubly valuable when the author has literary talent and combines such a history with reflections on his own remarkable personal and professional life. Starzl is no ordinary surgeon or personality, and his memoirs constitute no ordinary autobiography. As in any valuable autobiography, the style of this book, as much as the content, provides valuable insight into the nature of the man. After years of looking ahead, beyond the horizons of those less gifted than he, Starzl has now paused to look behind and, on reflection, to see where he has been and to evaluate his remarkable experience.

In fact, this volume is two books skillfully


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