Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Fizzy's Choice

Submitting a 300 words or less abstract for a conference:

Me: "It will be easy to write this abstract, but getting it down to 300 words will be rough. I'm going to have to make some hard decisions."

Jamie (a psychologist): "It's going to be like Fizzy's Choice."

Me: [laughs] "Totally."

Mike (foreign research fellow): [stares blankly]

Jamie: "There was this movie, which I never saw, but it's about this woman who.... well, she..."

Me: "Actually, this is kind of a downer."

Jamie: "...she has to choose which one of her two children lives."

Me: "During the Holocaust."

Mike: [soberly] "Oh."


Jamie: "That was definitely a downer."

Me: "Nothing kills a conversation faster than the Holocaust."

Speaking of the Holocaust, I recently finished reading Sarah's Key for my book club. I read it quickly, but I felt it was a bit needlessly horrible. I feel like when a book makes you cry, it should be necessary and earned.


  1. I got Sarah's Key from a friend who was moving and wanted to off load some of her books. I heard it was good so I took it but every time I read the back, I put it back on the shelf because of that very expectation that it will be depressing. As lately I've been reading books as an escape from my science text books, this one just isn't going to cut it. It looks like after your review its just going to remain on my bookshelf, gathering dust.

  2. I don't want to give away anything about the plot, but it's got a few really horrific scenes, one especially, involving children.

    I can deal better with things that are sad because you've grown to know and love the characters, such as the ending of The Help, not because they're just objectively horrible.

  3. Hello Fizzy, I don't get it ? Can you explain ?

    BTW I will soon be a 'foreign research fellow'. Visa came through today.

    I coming soonly to Land of the Fries and home of the braves.

    Thank you muchly.

  4. I agree - Sara's Key was sort of maliciciously sad. I was kind of pissed that I even read it by the end. Maybe I just couldn't deal with such a terrible thing happening to a child -- I pretty much stopped watching sad movies involving children during my peds residency.

    I watched a Japenese movie "The Grave of the Fireflies" [SPOILER ALERT] where the whole plot is basically young boy starving to death. [END SPOILER ALERT]and felt just bereft afterwards. I decided that, with seeing so much sadness at work, I no longer was going to watch or read anything sad. Now that I have my own kids, it's even worse. I'm not sure how Sarah's Key slipped under the radar, but I still feel sort of icky even thinking about it and wish I never read it.

  5. Grumpy: Now that I have kids, any child that suffers in a book immediately becomes MY child and it's almost unbearable. A couple of months ago, I told my book club that I didn't want to read any books where a child died or was harmed. Apparently, this restriction was prohibitive, and I eventually gave in because it seemed like I was ruling out too many books. It kind of disgusts me that this was the case.

  6. I cried from Saras Key too, it was a very sad but well written book!