Fortnight on Maxwell Street is a reluctant hero’s journey of fear and courage set in Chicago in the early spring of 1968. 24 year-old medical student Nick Weissman spends two weeks delivering babies in the kitchens and bedrooms of the inner-city’s slum tenements. Over his head medically and unprotected in one of America’s most dangerous neighborhoods, his character and resourcefulness are tested in the extreme when a racially explosive national tragedy intervenes.
Forthcoming February 2018
Early praise for Fortnight on Maxwell Street:
“Kerns masterfully stitches his young and reluctant medical hero’s story together with the fascinating and dark journey of James Earl Ray as he stalks and murders Martin Luther King Jr. This realistic tapestry of life and racism in America in 1968 is profound and timely.”
Robert M. Reece, M.D., author of To Tell The Truth.
“A propulsive, harrowing, and moving read, from beginning to end. David Kerns delivers a nuanced portrayal of racism as a spectrum disease. We see how heroes and villains are made, how character is forged in the crucible of a historical moment. Fortnight on Maxwell Street rings absolutely, heart-stoppingly true. A book for our time.”
Jessica Grant, author of Come, Thou Tortoise
“With craft and compassion, David Kerns has written a gripping story of one young medical student’s journey into America’s racial divide in 1968 Chicago.”
Hillary Homzie, author of Queen of Likes and The Hot List.
“David Kerns’ thrilling and intelligent novel follows a medical student’s inner-city trial-by-fire in a time of national peril.”
Sasha Paulsen, author of the forthcoming Dancing on the Spider’s Web
About the author:
David Kerns retired a decade ago from his career as a senior hospital executive and Stanford medical professor to devote himself full-time to writing. For the past six years he has been a columnist and feature writer for the Napa Valley Register. Born and educated in Chicago, his inspiration for Fortnight on Maxwell Street was his own two-week medical student rite of passage at the Chicago Maternity Center on the city’s West Side.