Gonzalez-Crussi was recently awarded the prestigious “Premio Letterario Merck” literature prize for his book “Carrying the Heart. The World Within Us.” The prize recognizes literary works that combine the scientific importance of research with literary writing style.
“I was prompted by my professional experience as a pathologist and longstanding love of literature and the humanities to write this book,” Crussi said. “As a pathologist, I often had to look closely at death and disease. The dissection of cadavers was a part of my duties, and it is a moving, even shocking, experience. This work compelled me to reflect and write about the frailties and strength of the human body, and more generally, of the human condition.”
“Carry the Heart. The World Within Us” is a unique, non-technical book that takes readers on a journey through the body’s inner organ systems. The book was written in English but was published in Italian by Adelphi Edizioni Publishing House in 2014.
Gonzalez-Crussi is the first American to win the “Premio Letterario Merck” literature prize in the essay category, which he received in Rome, Italy.
Throughout his career, Gonzalez-Crussi has been successful as both a pathologist and a writer. In his medical career, he specialized in pediatric pathology and published more than 200 medical research articles. He was the head of laboratories at Children’s Memorial Hospital until he retired in 2001. As a writer, he has written twenty books and essays, most on topics of the body or biomedicine. Several of his literary works have received national awards.
“Writing has been important in my life,” Crussi said. “It has forced me to stop and think about important matters that otherwise I might have ignored. It also made me research subjects thoroughly, and it is always a pleasure to learn new things about the world that surrounds us. This is the kind of attitude that I hope to preserve as long as possible.”
The “Premio Letterario Merck” is one of four literature prizes that Merck awards or promotes worldwide.