How to Be Self-Revealing in Memoir When You’re Not In Real Life, featuring Dr. Brian H. Williams

Jan 22, 2024

Kathryn Schulz

This week’s episode moves beyond inspiring and into the territory of important, essential, and recommended listening—and reading. Guest Dr. Brian H. Williams, author of the debut memoir, The Bodies Keep Coming, joins us to talk about his experience as a trauma surgeon, and what being on the hospital frontlines can teach us about racial inequities in America. On the writing side of things, Brooke and Grant talk about how hard it can be for memoirists to truly open up, especially if you’re not used to sharing your feelings, or if there’s a perception that you don’t want the book to be too much “about you.” Dr. Williams touches upon all this, and shares how, as a self-professed man of few words, he pushed himself to be so self-revealing in his memoir.


Dr. Brian H. Williams is an Air Force Academy graduate, a Harvard-trained surgeon, a former congressional health policy advisor, and a nationally recognized leader at the intersection of public policy and structural racism, gun violence, and health equity. He has treated gun violence victims for more than two decades. Williams has served as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellow at the National Academy of Medicine and as a professor of trauma and acute care surgery at the University of Chicago Medicine. His memoir, The Bodies Keep Coming: Dispatches from a Black Trauma Surgeon on Racism, Violence, and How We Heal, came out in September of last year.

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