Danner, Craig Joseph
Danner, Craig Joseph
Born in OR; married Beth Epstein (a physician). Education: Evergreen State College, B.A.; Essex College, physician assistant degree. Also attended Macalester College.
Writer, licensed physician's assistant, county medical examiner, and creative writing instructor. Has worked as a boot maker and an advertising agency production director; also ran a hospital in India. Emergency medical services captain for a rural volunteer fire department.
Pacific Northwest Book Award, 2002, for Himalayan Dhaba.
Himalayan Dhaba (novel), Crispin/Hammer Publishing (Hood River, OR), 2001.
Contributor to periodicals, including the Massachusetts Review.
For his first novel, Himalayan Dhaba, Craig Joseph Danner drew on his own experience working with his physician-wife in a remote hospital in the mountains of Northern India. In an interview featured on the Himalayan Dhaba Web site, the author noted: "So the basic premise, as well as the medical details and the physical descriptions of place, came from my own and my wife's experiences. But aside from that, the story is fiction. I developed the characters based on a mix of people we came in contact with while we were there, and then had the pleasure of allowing them each to tell me their story as I imagined them facing their individual dilemmas. It's the most fun part of writing."
Himalayan Dhaba tells the story of a recently widowed American doctor named Mary running a hospital in a remote Himalayan village. Although Mary expected the hospital's resident surgeon to be there to help her, she finds that he has gone to care for his sick father. The novel follows Mary as she struggles with her desire to help those in need and her wish to return to civilization and cope with her grief. In the process she meets a wide range of people, from a British wanderer with a broken back to a drug addict who tries to kidnap her newfound friend Amod, a waiter from a local café. Writing in Kliatt, Susan G. Allison called Himalayan Dhaba "an excellent book … about the struggle to provide adequate medical care in remote areas … and about some of the unique ways in which doctor and patients heal each other." Other critics also praised the book, including a Kirkus Reviews contributor, who noted: "A fresh spirit animates this tale, one carefully constructed, simply narrated, and briskly organised." William Beatty, writing in Booklist, commented that "Danner produces a quiet, sympathetic, increasingly appealing story."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, August, 2001, William Beatty, review of Himalayan Dhaba, p. 2084.
Kirkus Reviews, April 15, 2002, review of Himalayan Dhaba, p. 511.
Kliatt, September, 2003, Susan G. Allison, review of Himalayan Dhaba, p. 16.
Publishers Weekly, February 4, 2002, Bridget Kinsella, "After Himalayas, Road to Success Isn't So Steep," p. 21; May 27, 2002, review of Himalayan Dhaba, p. 34.
Rain Taxi, winter, 2002-2003, H.E. Everding, review of Himalayan Dhaba.
Himalayan Dhaba Web site,http://www.himalayandhaba.com (September 30, 2004), includes interview with author.