The Case of Dr. Sachs: A Novel
Translated by Linda Asher
Bruno Sachs is a country doctor who makes house calls and feels deeply for his patients. There are broken bones, unwanted pregnancies, people without the will to live, a friend dying of cancer. His pity for his fellow creatures is both his motivating force and his own untreatable condition. Among the deaths, love affairs, and small town gossip, a love story emerges at the heart of the novel—between Dr. Sachs and a young woman upon whom he once performed an abortion.
The Case of Dr. Sachs is a novel of the doctor's life that recalls Chekhov's Ward Number Six for its rendering of the central character's misericordia. Written in the second person, The Case of Doctor Sachs is filled with voices of silent suffering and arias of quiet joy. In France, where The Case of Doctor Sachs sold more than 600,000 copies and was awarded the Prix du Livre Inter, the book has come to represent a new freedom of literary expression.
About Martin Winckler
Marc Zaffran, alias MARTIN WINCKLER, was born in Algiers in 1955. His family moved to Israel and then, in 1962, to France. He obtained an M.D. in 1977, and, in 1983, opened his own office as a general practitioner. He also worked part time at a women's health center performing abortions.
His first novel, La vacation, was published in 1989. In 1994 he stopped practicing medicine altogether and began writing full time. La Maladie de Sachs (The Case of Doctor Sachs) was released in France in 1997 to great fanfare. A movie version, directed by Michel Deville, won first prize at the Chicago Film Festival.
In addition to his novels, Winckler has published numerous essays on social and medical issues. He has translated into French the works of Richard Powers, Patrick Macnee, and Nicholson Baker. Winckler lives in a small village in France with his wife and eight children.