Friday, July 8th, 2011 by

The Fairytale Trilogy by Valerie GribbenValerie Gribben’s recent New York Times op-ed, “Practicing Medicine Can Be Grimm Work,” has received lovely responses from across the country. In their Letters section, under the heading “When ‘ER’ Met ‘Hansel and Gretel,” the New York Times has published some of those responses.

Gribben is a medical student and the author of The Fairytale Trilogy, a collection of three young adult fantasy novels including one that Gribben published at just sixteen-years-old. Her New York Times op-ed discussed how her love of fairytales has brought her greater understanding of her patients.

“Valerie Gribben’s well-written article is insightful and true: a sense for stories helps sensitize future physicians and enables them to greater imagine the world of others,” writes Geoff Rubin, a fourth-year medical student at Columbia University.

Clinical psychologist Sherry Gardner of Cheyenne, Wyoming, offered to be the “first in line” when Valerie emerges as a doctor in a few years. “When I was on the faculty at Northwestern University Medical School, we debated whether empathy could be taught to medical students,” Gardner writes. “Ms. Gribben clearly possesses and values empathy, and I daresay her history with fairy tales contributed to her development.”

Other letters came from Margaret Parker of Ann Arbor, Michigan, and periodontist Bill Lavine of West Hartford, Connecticut. Read all the responses at the New York Times website.

Valerie Gribben’s The Fairytale Trilogy is available from NewSouth Books,, or your favorite retail or online bookseller.