Dispatches From Pluto: Lost and Found in the Mississippi Delta, by Richard Grant. Paperback: 320 pages Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 1st edition (October 13, 2015), ISBN-10: 1476709645.
Mississippi regularly appears on the top of "worst of" lists, including health outcomes and financial opportunity. It's one of the eleven "stroke-belt" states found in 1980 by The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to have death rates more than 10 percent higher than the U.S. average. It's been of interest to our team over the years as we've worked within the safety net to help support systems to better care for vulnerable and uninsured populations.
In 'Dispatches From Pluto', an English journalist moves from his NYC apartment to a large old house deep in the Mississippi Delta. In a non-researcher's voice, he tells gorgeous tales about some really hard issues -- "social determinants of health" such as politics, race, religion, music, community. The thing I loved the most about this book was the heart and generosity he vividly describes encountering as a stranger in a strange land. Absolutely fascinating, at times sad, and just completely compulsively readable.
- Dona Cutsogeorge