Anita Hannig’s first book, Beyond Surgery: Injury, Healing, and Religion at an Ethiopian Hospital (University of Chicago Press, 2017) is an in-depth ethnography of two fistula repair and rehabilitation centers in northern Ethiopia. Focusing on the juxtaposition of culture, religion, and medicine, Hannig turns the heroic narrative of surgery on its head to expose the realities of life for women treated in and living at the centers. Utilizing first-person interviews, she show the human face to the surgery and its aftermath. Moving beyond the easy and cathartic narrative promulgated by the media and non-profit fundraisers, Hannig shows the complex reality of life post-surgery. Hannig’s book is a testament to the importance of good, long-term research in the arena of public health in the developing world.
Listen to the full New Books Network interview here.