“The Wish for a Good Young Country Doctor”
by Allan Gurganus
from the May 4, 2020 issue of The New Yorker

I love it when I’m introduced to an author who has been working for decades, particularly when they have such an interesting back catalog. Allan Gurganus’s name was completely new to me before “The Wish for a Good Young Country Doctor” was published, but I see he started publishing 1989 with his novel Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All. He has one other novel to his name — 1997’s Plays Well With Others — but there appears to be another forthcoming, this one tantalizingly titled The Erotic History of a Southern Baptist Church. Clearly Gurganus has a voice, at least when it comes to titles. He also has three short story collections out, with another forthcoming.

But let’s look at his history with The New Yorker. This is his fifth story they’ve published, but the first was clear back in 1974 (“Minor Heroism”). The most recent was in 2004 (“My Heart Is a Snake Farm”), so I may have read it, though I don’t think so as I have no memory of the title or, as I said before, Gurganus’s name.

On to “The Wish for a Good Young Country Doctor”! I hope it’s excellent, and I hope to hear your thoughts. I’ve got it ready to read, and I hope tomorrow affords me some time for just that. I think it will! I hope you are all having a wonderful week.

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