Samuel Shem is the pen-name of Dr. Steve Bergman, Professor of Medical Humanities at NYU Medical School.
“Samuel Shem’s classic novel about medical internship, THE HOUSE OF GOD (1978), was recently named by the British medical journal The Lancet as one of the two most important American medical novels of the 20th century, the other being Sinclair Lewis’ ARROWSMITH. It has sold over two million copies, in thirty languages. John Updike wrote in an introduction to the 25th anniversary edition: “It glows with the celebratory essence of a real novel…A tale of venture into the valley of death and the truth of the flesh…more timely than ever.” Newsweek listed it in 1999 as “the novel to read about becoming a doctor.” The sequel, MOUNT MISERY (1996), about psychiatric residency at a mental hospital of that name, has been called “another medical classic,” and, by the Boston Globe, “outrageously funny, a sage and important novel by a healer and a Shakespearean.” These novels have been bestsellers in America, Germany, Spain, and the Czech Republic. Shem is also the author of a FINE (1986), a novel about a psychoanalyst (“Funny…Full of dazzling, zany intelligence…energetic and exuberant”—New York Times”), THE SPIRIT OF THE PLACE (to be published in March 2008), and THE MISSING GIRL.
With his spouse, Janet Surrey, co-author of the following: the play BILL W. AND DR BOB, THE BUDDHA’S WIFE: The Path of Awakening Together, and WE HAVE TO TALK: Healing Dialogues Between Women and Men.