Kelly O’Donnell

“Acknowledgments in Essay Form:” Briallen Hopper’s Hard to Love

I agreed to review Hard to Love: Essays and Confessions a week before my long-time boyfriend broke up with me out of the blue one otherwise completely normal Wednesday afternoon. Needless to say, my copy of Briallen Hopper’s heartfelt and nourishing essays arrived at exactly the right time. Her collected musings — examining love, life,… Read more →

Pinkie, Your Hospital Pal! Or, Why I Bought a Weird Old Hand Puppet on eBay

I met Pinkie just as I was nearing the end of my M. Louise Carpenter Gloeckner, M.D. Summer Research Fellowship at the Drexel University College of Medicine’s Legacy Center. I had already spent several weeks combing through the archives of Hahnemann University and Woman’s Medical College, looking for details about the history of doctors’ wives,… Read more →

Women’s Health Advocacy at Work

I realized belatedly that writing a biography of a women’s health activist as my dissertation (and wrestling with the late journalist Barbara Seaman’s strong personality) was an exhausting task. I finished graduate school a semester late, burnt out, and in desperate need of a paycheck. So when I saw a job advertisement from a women’s… Read more →