- Written by: Deonna Kelli Sayed
- Category: Book Buzz
Breath and Mercy by Mark Anthony Powers
Life was supposed to get better for Phineas Mann in 1983. After the rigors of medical school, residency, and fellowship training, he lands himself a promising position directing a New Orleans hospital’s intensive care unit. His mental and physical limits are soon tested by the soaring demand for his expertise and an exploding AIDS epidemic. Then Hurricane Jezebel floods the city and knocks out power, plumbing, and telephones. Temperatures soar. Supplies run low. As day follows miserable day, fatalities fill a make-shift morgue. Through the sweltering, fetid gloom, Phineas employs his training to alleviate patient suffering…until he faces one terrible threat that will put his entire future in jeopardy. Breath into Life is the prequel to Mark Anthony Powers’ bestselling debut novel, A Swarm in May, and the first book of a trilogy. Through the character of Dr. Phineas Mann, the author explores the ethical dilemmas of providing supportive care for dying patients.
Mark Anthony Powers did not anticipate writing his best-selling debut novel, A Swarm in May, when he retired from medicine, although he has always enjoyed reading fiction. He grew up in the small town of West Lebanon, NH then attended Cornell University, where he strayed into Russian and creative writing while majoring in engineering. After receiving his MD from Dartmouth, he went south to the University of North Carolina for an internship and residency in Internal Medicine, followed by a fellowship in Pulmonary Diseases and Critical Care Medicine. After almost forty years in clinical practice and teaching, Mark retired from Duke University as an Associate Professor Emeritus of Medicine and began exploring other areas of his brain. Writing, gardening, IT, and magic courses were parts of his journey. A deep dive into beekeeping led to his presidency of the county beekeeping association and certification as a Master Beekeeper. Two cups of coffee and two hours of writing most mornings produced A Swarm in May and its prequel, Breath and Mercy. Mark is currently completing the third novel in this series. To learn more or connect with Mark, please visit www.markanthonypowers.com.