Shem's New Novel
Release Date: May 9, 2016

The the Heart of the Universe

At the Heart of the Universe (2016)

Order the Book

Reviews & Advance Praise

The story of two mothers and a father in love with the same daughter, Samuel Shem's At the Heart of the Universe is an epic novel set deep in rural China against the backdrop of an ancient mountain monastery during the time of the one-child-per-family policy. Inspired by the author's experiences as parent of an adopted child, it describes the drama of adoption and the journey of loss and rebirth that can happen when a daughter brings together her adopted mother and father with her birth mother high on a mountaintop.

Read a Rave Review from Diversion Magazine!

In bookstores now from the National Bestselling Author of THE HOUSE OF GOD

This video was produced by The Doctor's Channel, the world's leading video site for docs. Watch over 6000 short videos (free CME too!) on
The Buddha's Wife

The Buddha's Wife (2015)

Order the Book

Visit the Web Site

What do we know of the wife and child the Buddha abandoned when he went off to seek his enlightenment? The Buddha’s Wife brings this rarely told story to the forefront, offering a nuanced portrait of this compelling and compassionate figure while also examining the practical applications her teachings have on our modern lives.

house of godThe Spirit of the Place (2008)

Order the Book

Reviews & Praise

Read an Excerpt

Reading Guide

Media Kit

A Literary Ventures Fund Book

Publisher: Kent State University Press

From the author of 'The House of God' comes a novel about an expatriate doctor called home to Columbia, New York following the death of his mother. As he reacquaints himself with the place, he learns what it means to be a healer, and to be healed.


A world renowned speaker, Shem is known for his humor and gift for inspiring audiences. Topics include “Staying Human in Health Care—…and in Life.” Also, “Staying Human in Corporations.” For a full list of topics go to: For booking contact Kelly Dieter at

Worldwide Speakers Group unnamed

"He infuses mercy into practice of medicine" - Billy Baker, Boston Globe 12/8/2008
"A Book Doctors Can't Close" - By Howard Markel, M.D., The New York Times 8/18/2008

Purchase other books by Samuel Shem from

House of God
mount misery

Boston Globe Guest Editorial

August 10, 2009
What it’s like in a country without war

August 3, 2009
He won’t open up? There’s a reason

July 27, 2009
The patient is the world

July 20, 2009
Five laws of the novelist

July 13, 2009
The farce of dueling psychiatrists

July 6, 2009
Golfing with Updike

June 7, 2009
The pitting of doctor against doctor

October 13, 2008
Valor and fear in surgeons

August 5, 2007
A strike for better healthcare

More »

Multimedia Selections


Listen to the 2009 Harvard Medical School Class Day Keynote Address here, or watch by clicking here

More multimedia »

Visit the Official Bill W. and Dr. Bob Website

Watch a video about the play & donate

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player