March 1979, a young street hustler in San Francisco stumbles into an emergency room with lungs so congested he can barely breathe. Seen by a perplexed young medical resident, the patient becomes the first of many thousands to die from a yet-to- be named plague. Sensing Light is raw, compelling novel that reveals the personal and professional lives of men and women on the front lines of the emerging AIDS epidemic.
This breakout book by Mark Jacobson, a leading Bay Area HIV/AIDS physician, follows three people from vastly different backgrounds who are thrown together by a shared urgency to discover what is killing so many men in the prime of their lives. Kevin is a gay medical resident from working class Boston who has just moved to San Francisco in search of acceptance of his sexual identity. Herb, a middle-aged supervising physician at one of the nation’s toughest hospitals, is struggling with his own emotional rigidity. And Gwen, a divorced mother raising a teenage daughter, is seeking a sense of self and security while endeavoring to complete her medical training.
Krista Bremer, author of My Accidental Jihad, says, “A moving story of doctors navigating the intersections of suffering, ambition, and discovery.”
“In Sensing Light, Mark Jacobson creates a moving tapestry of the doctors, the patients, and their lovers, both gay and straight, caught up in the AIDS epidemic. A compassionate, intelligent novel, part medical thriller that only someone who was there from the start could’ve written.” Bill Barich, staff writer for The New Yorker, 1980-95, and author of Big Dreams: Into the Heart of California.
“The AIDS epidemic emerges at Ground Zero — San Francisco in the 1980s. This riveting drama poignantly captures the raw emotions at the intersection of patients, health professionals, and a society unprepared for a new epidemic.” Diane Havlir, MD. Chief, UCSF Division of HIV, Infectious Diseases and Global Medicine at San Francisco General Hospital
“Sensing Light by Mark Jacobson, a doctor who worked with early HIV- infected patients and continues to practice medicine today, is a compelling story of the onset of the AIDS epidemic shown through the eyes of three doctors at a San Francisco public hospital. Although historical fiction, the novel reads like a creative non-fiction exploration of the pathos and uncertainty of those early days when gay men were dying and no one could figure out why. The characters are all too human; their battles both internal and external as they attempt to make sense of the horror around them.” Gayle Shanks, co-owner of Changing Hands Bookstore, Phoenix, AZ, and former president of the American Booksellers Association.
About the Author:
Mark Jacobson, a professor of medicine at the University of California San Francisco and attending physician at San Francisco General Hospital, began his internship in 1981, just days after the CDC first reported a mysterious, fatal disease affecting gay men.
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Sept. 21: Rose City Reader (Interview)
Oct. 14: Diary of an Eccentric (Guest Post)
Oct. 18: Book Nerd Demigod (Review)
Oct. 25: Svetlana’s Reads and Views (Review)
Nov. 13: Readaholic Zone (Review)
Nov. 14: Donna Book Reviews (Review)
Nov. 16: Eva Lucia Reviews (Review)
Nov. 17: Eva Lucia Reviews (Interview)
Nov. 18: Katherine & Books (Review)
Nov. 19: My Trending Stories (Review)
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