The Persephone Book of Short Stories: A Few Problems in the Day Case Unit by Georgina Hammick


Today I read the final short story in The Persephone Book of Short Stories. It has been quite a journey with this book. I was introduced to new authors, had the opportunity to see life from different viewpoints, and live vicariously through some characters! (Sigh!) I am going to miss reading this book!

Georgina Hammick’s A Few Problems in the Day Case Unit is a unique story in the collection. The story revolves around Lettice Pomfrey, a thirty-four-year-old mother of four children, who is visiting a gynecologist. Lettice’s previous encounters with gynecologists have not been great. One had been a misogynist and an extortionist, another a lecher. So Mr. G (G for Gamble!) has come to her highly recommended.

In the first paragraph of the story itself, Hammick warns some might find certain aspects of the story to be distasteful. And it is true! I felt squirmish reading how Lettice was prodded and handled like a specimen than a human being by a bunch of male doctors! Also, the story involves contraceptive coils (which I hadn’t even heard of before!), and imagining it made me a bit uncomfortable!

But other than that, A Few Problems in the Day Case Unit is a funny story (is there any other way to tell a story about a visit to a gynecologist without scaring readers?!). I thought it was very audacious of Hammick to write this story, and now I have got both of her short story collections, People For Lunch and Spoilt on my wishlist!

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