Everything you need to understand or teach Operation Wandering Soul by Richard Powers.
A major thrust of this novel is that even in the face of incredible adversity, humans work together to make what they can of their situations, however impossible those situations may seem.
By focusing on the children's ward in a hospital that continually confronts most of the social predicaments and upheavals that afflict contemporary society, Powers reveals in vivid, realistic terms an ugly underbelly of modern civilization whose existence most people would prefer to overlook.
Powers helps readers understand this seeming unconcern by demonstrating that, ironically, it is Richard Kraft's sensitivity that fuels his seeming insensitivity: Richard Kraft is afraid to expose himself emotionally to a situation that, as both a human and a physician, he deplores yet can usually deal with only palliatively. He wants to cure his patients, to send them home whole, but he can not. A theme of powerlessness pervades the novel but this powerlessness...