Direction: The passage given below is followed by a set of questions. Choose the most appropriate answer to each question.
It is a matter of life or death: that’s a concept that gets our attention, whether chuckling over it in a B-grade film or engrossed by it in an A-grade medical book such as this year’s Pulitzer Prize winner for nonfiction, The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee. It isn’t hyperbole to call Emperor a literary masterpiece. The Pulitzer citation describes it as, “an elegant inquiry, at once clinical and personal, into the long history of an insidious disease that, despite treatment breakthroughs, still bedevils medical science.” “Elegant” is an apposite description of the New York-based oncologist’s prose, whether he is rephrasing Tolstoy: “Normal cells are identically normal; malignant cells become unhappily malignant in unique ways”; or explaining the book’s provocative title: “This book is a ‘biography’ in the truest sense of the word – an attempt to enter the mind of this immortal illness, to understand its personality, to demystify its behavior”; or extrapolating, from cancer’s ability to mutate, into the realm of philosophy: “If we, as a species, are the ultimate product of Darwinian selection, then so, too, is this incredible disease that lurks inside us.” Mukherjee weaves together multiple stories about medical advances, doctors and scientists, and the patients who teach us something in the living or dying. Emperor is a historical account of cancer; we understand how cancer rose to prominence as a leading cause of death – as a direct result of human beings living longer now, and more likely to develop cancer. A greater understanding of the disease however comes with the caveat, the more you
know, the more aware you are of how much you don’t know. Tales related to surgery, with its inherent drama, has the edge on our medical reading lists. Some medical books fall into the Self Help category — one of the most successful genres in the publishing world today. While the genre can attract those looking to make a quick buck by peddling to people’s insecurities, there are some useful tomes too. Author Tim Parks in Teach Us to Sit Still shares how reading a famous self-help book, A Headache in the Pelvis helped with his chronic pelvic pain syndrome. Medical books deal with a subject close to our hearts — us, we, ourselves. Perhaps the ones we are most drawn to – thrillers aside – are those that give us a deeper insight into how the mind-body machine works, why we are sick, how we can get better — and, unhappily, sometimes, why we can’t.
What is the “biographical” aspect of Mukherjee’s book?
It provides a moving account of Siddhartha’s personal struggle with the dreaded disease.
The book uses several real-life case studies of people who have fought against cancer
The book tries to look at cancer from within, to understand the behavior of the disease and to demystify it.
The book provides a comprehensive historical account of the disease.
The book tries to look at cancer from within, to understand the behaviour of the disease and to demystify it.
Refer to the line - “This book is a ‘biography’ in the truest sense of the word – an attempt to enter the mind of this immortal illness, to understand its personality, to demystify its behaviour.”
Hence, the book tries to look at cancer from within, to understand the behaviour of the disease and to demystify it. is the correct answer.