Published March 19, 2022

Authors Benjamin Gilmer (The Other Dr. Gilmer) and Chip Jones (The Organ Thieves) explore true stories at the intersection of the medical world and the legal world. Chronicling failures of the incarceral system and the history of medical mistreatment of African Americans as well as the narratives that attend both, these books convey, contextualize, and critique institutional injustices. In conversation with Kristen Green.

Thanks to our bookseller for this event, New Dominion Bookshop.

“[The Other Dr. Gilmer is a] remarkable medical detective story–cum–memoir, grippingly told . . . I was drawn in by every part of it.” —Atul Gawande, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Being Mortal

“There are too many in prison who should be in hospitals or mental health facilities. . . . The Other Dr. Gilmer does not merely point at a broken system: it humanizes the people trapped within it. They need a physician like Dr. Gilmer to lead the way to healing.”—Anthony Ray Hinton, New York Times bestselling author of The Sun Does Shine

“Startling… [The Organ Thieves is a] powerful story that examines institutional racism, mortality, medical ethics, and the nature of justice for black men living in the American South… A moving exploration of an unthinkable trespass against an innocent man.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Chip Jones’s The Organ Thieves is the brilliantly researched and written story of how Jim Crow racism infected the medical profession during the Cold War era. The twists and turns in this Virginia saga are astonishingly sad and at times triumphant. Every page is a revelation. A must read!” —Douglas Brinkley, Katherine Tsanoff Brown Chair in Humanities and professor of history at Rice University, and author of American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race


Virginia Festival of the Book staff, volunteers, partners, and attendees appreciate all of our sponsors. It is their crucial support, along with individual donors, that allows us to present the 2022 Virginia Festival of the Book almost completely free of charge. We appreciate the generous commitment from our Premier Sponsor, The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation, and these major sponsors: Michelle and David Baldacci, Dominion Energy, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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