Bliss – H. C. Turk

Wendell Calinar, 78, is rendered into a permanent vegetative state (PVS) by a stroke. This novel examines a topic of deep interest to people today. We all know, or know of, people who have been stricken in this manner, and we wonder of their true state of living. Their eyes function, but do they see? They seem to respond, with a twitch of a finger, a blink, but do they recognize us? Though medical science professes that such patients “lack cognitive powers,” some nurses claim that the rare patient will awaken from a PVS and recall everything that happened. In Bliss, I speculate on the mentality, memory, and emotion of a person who is ostensibly unaware. The book is not intended to be a medical breakthrough, but humane, artistic insight.