‘A community of mortals’: a headline written to snare. The story it led me to, though, is so powerful that I am delighted to have been snared.
Alexandra Zelman-Doring’s tale of her husband’s heart
attack and the hours that followed is the runner-up in the Bodley Head/FT Essay Prize for 2013. It is
personal and universal, anecdotal and data-based. Above all, it is moving, but
of the essay stay with me, but none more so than this line: “Borne on the brink of the music, it came to me:
human beings endure impossible things.” We certainly do.
PS: Another powerful read is Raghu Karnad’s essay on Indians who served
in the British army during the second world war. The essay, which melds the
personal with the general, was runner-up in the prize for 2012.