An Observer, New Statesman, Financial Times, Irish Times and Scotsman 2021 Non-Fiction Highlight
‘Searing yet beautiful … less a hot take that an astute manifesto for what matters most in life, as well as in medicine.’ Rachel Clarke, author of Breathtaking: Inside the NHS in a Time of Pandemic and Your Life in My Hands
‘Well written, often entertaining and occasionally deeply moving; an unmissable account of a year we will all try too hard to forget.’ The Times
‘Inspiring. I can’t recommend it too strongly. You will learn a lot from it, and you will find much more that is encouraging.’ Allan Massie, Scotsman
Intensive Care is about how coronavirus emerged, spread across the world and changed all of our lives forever. But it’s not, perhaps, the story you expect.
Gavin Francis is a GP who works in both urban and rural communities, splitting his time between Edinburgh and the islands of Orkney. When the pandemic arrived in our society he saw how it affected every walk of life: the anxious teenager, the isolated care home resident, the struggling furloughed worker and homeless ex-prisoner, all united by their vulnerability in the face of a global disaster. And he saw how the true cost of the virus was measured not just in infections, or deaths, or ITU beds, but in the consequences of the measures taken against it.
In this deeply personal account of nine months spent caring for a society in crisis, Francis will take you from rural village streets to local clinics and communal city stairways. And in telling this story, he reveals others: of loneliness and hope, illness and recovery, and of what we can achieve when we care for each other.
Praise for Shapeshifters: A wonderful series of meditations - clinical, anthropological, literary and deeply humane - on his patients and their illnesses. -- Henry Marsh In this provocative and important book about our shared future, Francis ranges broadly to describe altered human states and selves. He delves into medical history, and, with equal ease, into medical case studies, to reveal how humans are capable of changing our bodies and minds. -- Siddhartha Mukherjee Wonderful, written with a deep feeling for language. A writer-physician who sees the drama and beauty in human life. -- Annie Dillard Francis's method is to weave together stories from his general practice, his medical training and his travels, with a host of quotes, references and anecdotes from art, literature and history. The result is a rich pleasure. * Sunday Times * Timely, thought-provoking and eloquent... brimming both with warmth and insight, he puts himself among the ranks of physicians with fine pens, including Oliver Sacks and Atul Gawande, who, for all their learning, retain a deep humility. * The Times *
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