F. Gonzalez-Crussi, Professor Emeritus, is a Mexican physician and writer whose career extended along two disciplines, medicine and literature. (Né Francisco, his Anglicized name, Frank, has been used in his English-language productions).
Born in a modest neighborhood of Mexico City in 1936, F. Gonzalez-Crussi was raised by his widowed mother, who owned a small drugstore. He studied medicine in the National Autonomous University of Mexico, and graduated in 1961. He migrated to the United States, where he obtained post-graduate training in the specialty of pathology, later subspecializing in pediatric pathology. He began his career in 1967 in academic medicine in Canada, at Queen’s University (Kingston, Ontario), and moved back to the United States in 1973, where he was a Professor of Pathology at Indiana University until 1978, when he relocated to Chicago, there to become Professor of Pathology at Northwestern University School of Medicine and Head of Laboratories of Children’s Memorial Hospital until his retirement in 2001. His literary work first became known in 1985, with the appearance of his book Notes of an Anatomist, to considerable critical acclaim. He became a naturalized American citizen in 1987).
Among the awards he has won is a Fellowship of the Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (September. 2000 to February 2001), a Certificate of Achievement by the Office of the Secretary of State of Illinois (2009), a career achievement prize by the ABC Hospital of Mexico City (2009) and a Medal to Merit from the University of Veracruz, Mexico. Between 2005 and 2007 he was apponted as consultant in the discipline of literary essay, in the Mexican government’s office in charge of promoting culture and the arts, F.O.N.C.A. (Fondo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes.
Awards and recognitions
- Fellowship of the Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (September. 2000 to February 2001)
- Certificate of Achievement by the Office of the Secretary of State of Illinois (2009)
- Career achievement prize by the ABC Hospital of Mexico City (2009)
- Medal to Merit from the University of Veracruz, Mexico
- Consultant in the discipline of literary essay- the Mexican Government’s Office - Culture and Arts - 2005 and 2007
- F.O.N.C.A. (Fondo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes)
In the medical field, in addition to about 200 articles in peer-reviewed journals of his medical specialty, he wrote two books: Extragonadal Teratomas, a text-atlas published under the auspices of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Washington, D. C., 1982. Nephroblastoma (Wilms’ tumor) and Related Renal Tumors of Childhood, CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, 1984.
In the literary field, his work has been chiefly in the essay genre, in both English and Spanish.
Books written in English:
Notes of an Anatomist (Harcourt Brace, 1985) First prize for nonfiction of the Society of Midland Authors (1985). Reviewed in the New York Times, 1985. Three Forms of Sudden Death (Harper & Row, 1986).
On the Nature of Things Erotic (Harcourt Brace, 1988). An excerpt was published as first serial in The New York Times Book Review.
The Five Senses (Harcourt Brace, 1989). Nominee for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for the publishing year August 1, 1988 to July 31, 1989.
Suspended Animation (Harcourt Brace, 1995). Nominee in the 1966 PEN/Spielfogel-Diamonstein Award for the Art of the Essay. Reviewed by John Banville, The New York Times, 1995.
There is a World Elsewhere (Riverhead Books, 1998). Reviewed in Chicago Tribune 1998.
On Being Born and Other Difficulties (Overlook Press, 2004). Reviewed in The Washington Post in 2004.
On Seeing. Things Seen, Unseen and Obscene. (Overlook Press, New York, 2006). Reviewed in Nature by Sir Richard Gregory, 2006.
A Short History of Medicine, (Random House, Modern Library Chronicles, 2007).
Carrying the Heart (Kaplan Publishing, 2009). Reviewed in The New York Times in 2009.
Books written and published in Spanish:
Partir es Morir un Poco (U.N.A.M., 1996).
Discurso a los Cirujanos (Verdehalago, 1998).
Venir al Mundo (Verdehalago, 2006).
La Fábrica del Cuerpo (Turner, Ortega & Ortiz, 2006).
Horas Chinas (Siglo XXI, Mexico).
Remedios de Antaño (Fondo de Cultura Económica, Mexico, 2012).
El Rostro y El Alma. Siete Ensayos Fisiognomicos (Penguin-Random House, Mexico, 2014)
Foreign translations of Dr. Gonzalez-Crussi’s books include: Dutch, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Portuguese, Slovakian, Czech, Polish, and Japanese.
In English language, Dr. Gonzalez-Crussi has contributed book reviews for The New York Times, Nature (London) magazine, The Washington Post and Commonweal magazine. Excerpts of his work have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, The Sciences. In Spanish language, his work has appeared in various periodical publications of Mexico (Letras Libres, Cambio, Tierra Adentro, Luvina) and Peru (Etiqueta Negra)
Theater play: The work of Dr. Gonzalez Crussi was adapted for the stage in 1995 by a theatrical company of Chicago (Live Bait Company, director Sharon Evans), under the name "Memento Mori". Reviewed in Chicago Tribune, and Chicago Sun Times in 1995 This play was also represented in Seattle (Nov-Dec 1996) by the Aha! Theater Company. Reviewed in The Seattle Times in 1996. Television Documentary: The literary work of Dr. Gonzalez Crussi was featured by the British Broadcasting Corporation. The BBC production (director Kevin Hull) was entitled “Day of the Dead”, which was filed in the British Film Institute archive. It was part of the TV Series “Bookmark”, and was first aired in the UK on April 27, 1992 (Channel BBC-2). The film was reviewed in the The Daily Telegraph (London); in The Times (London); and in BMJ in 1992.
- Frank Gonzalez-Crussi Profile
- Francisco Gonzáles-Crussí
- Francisco Gonzáles-Crussí - Transcript Summary
- Gross, John. "Books of the Times", The New York Times, New York, 14 May 1985. Retrieved on 4 November 2013.
- "The dangerous Marquis de Sade", The New York Times Book Review, New York, 27 March 1988. Retrieved on 4 November 2013.
- Marks-Frost, Marjorie. "1989 LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK PRIZE NOMINEES : for the publishing year August 1, 1988, through July 31, 1989", Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles, 3 September 1989. Retrieved 4 November 2013.
- Barnet, Andrea. "In short: Non-fiction", The New York Times, New York, 30 January 1994. Retrieved on 4 November 2013.
- Litvin, Michelle. "Local Lit: Frank Gonzalez-Crussi, pathological writer", Reader, Chicago, 27 October 1994. Retrieved on 4 November 2013.
- Banville, John. "Rest in pieces", The New York Times, New York, 12 November 1995. Retrieved on 4 November 2013.
- Martin, Mitch. "Chicago Doctor's Memoir is Philosophically Adventurous", Chicago Tribune, Chicago, 28 December 1998. Retrieved on 4 November 2013
- Trafford, Abigail. "Creation Cogitation", The Washington Post, Washington D.C., 4 August 2004. Retrieved on 4 November 2013.
- Gregory, Richard. "The Eye of the Beholder", Nature, London, 8 June 2006. Retrieved on 4 November 2013.
- Groopman, Jerome. "Diagnosis: What Doctors Are Missing", The New York Times, New York, 5 November 2009. Retrieved on 4 November 2013.
- Lauerman, Connie. "People, Places and Things", Chicago Tribune, Chicago, 15 January 1995. Retrieved on 30 September 2013.
- Weiss, Hedy. "’Mori’ Looks at Mystery, Mythology of Death”, Chicago Sun Times, Chicago, 24 January 1995. Retrieved on 30 September 2013.
- Orr, Tom. “A Dreamy Riff on Life, Death and Autopsies”, The Seattle Times, Seattle, 6 November 1996. Retrieved on 30 September 2013.
- "BFI | Film & TV Database | Day of the Dead (1992)". Ftvdb.bfi.org.uk. 2009-04-16. Retrieved 2014-05-10.
- Jones, Lewis. “Death in the Subway”, The Daily Telegraph (London), London, 28 April 1992.
- Truss, Lynn. “Obscene Body Language”, The Times (London), London, 2 May 1992.
- Ironside, James. "The art of dying", BMJ, London, 9 May 1992.