Afterword by Michael Sartisky
The heroine of this novel, a rational, rural Maine physician, finds herself courted by a patient whose bones she has patched together after an accident. He is a Boston lawyer who insists that marriage will not end her career. In Doctor Zay, Phelps takes on a subject unusual for 1882: the conflict, as experienced by women, between marriage and career. And as with all of Phelps’s novels, this one is both entertaining and consciousness-raising on class and gender.
"Doctor Zay, long out of print, is the earliest U.S. novel showing a woman as a physician at the height of her successful career. Michael Sartisky's afterword ably places the novel within its cultural context."
"How does a man woo a woman when the usual masculine and feminine roles are reversed? Elizabeth Stuart Phelp's Doctor Zay is at one and the same time an important study of the entrance of women into the medical profession in the nineteenth century and a witty expose of the artificiality of cultural conventions. Its insights into gender roles, marriage, and professional work for women are still pertinent today."