Laura Kolbe is a poet and doctor. She teaches at Weill Cornell Medical College. (April 2020)


‘Mysterious and Infinitely Solitary’

Silvina Ocampo at her family’s summer home near Buenos Aires, 1933–1934

Forgotten Journey

by Silvina Ocampo, translated from the Spanish by Suzanne Jill Levine and Katie Lateef-Jan, with a foreword by Carmen Boullosa

The Promise

by Silvina Ocampo, translated from the Spanish by Suzanne Jill Levine and Jessica Powell, with a foreword by Ernesto Montequín
Literary debuts are generally terrifying for the debutant. The Argentinian writer Silvina Ocampo, however—publishing her first short-story collection at thirty-four, in 1937, after beginning to doubt her earlier training as a painter—had the kinds of connections that tend to soften the landing. Close friends with Jorge Luis Borges, a few …

Bassani the Memorious

Giorgio Bassani at Villa Blanc, Rome, 1974

The Novel of Ferrara

by Giorgio Bassani, translated from the Italian and with an introduction by Jamie McKendrick, with a foreword by André Aciman
When Giorgio Bassani published his most commercially successful novel, The Garden of the Finzi-Continis, in 1962, he had already won the prestigious Strega Prize for his collection Five Stories of Ferrara (1956), and served as an editor at two multilingual and far-reaching literary magazines as well as the legendary publishing …


What ‘Distributive Justice’ Means for Doctors Treating Covid-19

New ventilators arriving at the Columbus Covid2 Hospital, Rome, Italy, March 16, 2020

The Italian guidelines’ specific recommendations include common-sense best practices such as seeking the ethical and practical opinion of other providers or senior staff when making a charged decision, encouraging all patients to make advance directives and clarify their wishes in the event of rapid deterioration—we should all do this; I now have one taped to my refrigerator—and providing absolute transparency and continual communication with patients and families, particularly when resource rationing is involved. In other words, doctors are advised to use their own judgment in allocating care and resources to those patients most likely to benefit.