Shapeshifters: A Doctor's Notes on Medicine & Human Change

Author:   Gavin Francis
Publisher:   Profile Books Ltd
Edition:   Main
ISBN:  

9781781257746


Pages:   304
Publication Date:   07 February 2019
Format:   Paperback
Availability:   In stock   Availability explained
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Shapeshifters: A Doctor's Notes on Medicine & Human Change


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Overview

To be alive is to be in perpetual change: growing, healing, learning, aging. In Shapeshifters, award-winning writer and doctor Gavin Francis considers the transformations in mind and body that continue across the arc of human life. Some of these changes we have little choice about. We can't avoid puberty, the menopause, or our hair turning grey. Others may be welcome milestones along our path - a much-wanted pregnancy, a cancer cured, or a long-awaited transition to another gender. We may find ourselves turning down dark paths, towards the cruel distortions of anorexia, or the shifting sands of memory loss. New technologies can upgrade us, and even without them our bodies can transform in rare, almost magical, ways - with gigantism, or the sun-sensitivity and facial hair that led porphyria sufferers, once upon a time, to be suspected as werewolves. Medicine now has unprecedented power to alter our lives, but that power has limitations. As he helps patients face transformations both temporary and sustained, Francis draws on history, art, literature, myth and magic to show how the very essence of being human is change.

Full Product Details

Author:   Gavin Francis
Publisher:   Profile Books Ltd
Imprint:   Wellcome Collection
Edition:   Main
Dimensions:   Width: 12.90cm , Height: 1.80cm , Length: 19.80cm
Weight:   0.255kg
ISBN:  

9781781257746


ISBN 10:   1781257744
Pages:   304
Publication Date:   07 February 2019
Audience:   College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  Tertiary & Higher Education ,  Professional & Vocational
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Availability:   In stock   Availability explained
We have confirmation that this item is in stock with the supplier. It will be ordered in for you and dispatched immediately.

Table of Contents

Reviews

Stylish and exhilarating... from a wide-ranging mind and a profound humanity. With warmth and wit, Gavin Francis examines the body's strategies for survival and change, embedding his thoughts in a broad frame of reference from across human culture and history. Each piece is a pleasure to read, and in sum they are inspiring. -- Hilary Mantel 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. -- James McConnachie * The 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. -- Janice Turner * The Times * As compelling as it is affecting * Scotland on Sunday * Such is the breadth of Francis's interests that Shapeshifters is never less than intellectually energetic -- Brian Dillon * Guardian * [An] enthralling collection of illustrated pieces about human transformation. -- Charlotte Heathcote * Sunday Express * Shapeshifters is beautifully written as well as extremely absorbing -- Susan Flockhart * Sunday Herald *


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. -- James McConnachie * The 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. -- Janice Turner * The Times * Stylish and exhilarating... from a wide-ranging mind and a profound humanity. With warmth and wit, Gavin Francis examines the body's strategies for survival and change, embedding his thoughts in a broad frame of reference from across human culture and history. Each piece is a pleasure to read, and in sum they are inspiring. -- Hilary Mantel As compelling as it is affecting * Scotland on Sunday * Such is the breadth of Francis's interests that Shapeshifters is never less than intellectually energetic -- Brian Dillon * Guardian * [An] enthralling collection of illustrated pieces about human transformation. -- Charlotte Heathcote * Sunday Express * Shapeshifters is beautifully written as well as extremely absorbing -- Susan Flockhart * Sunday Herald *


Author Information

Gavin Francis is a GP, and the author of True North and Empire Antarctica: Ice, Silence and Emperor Penguins, which won the Scottish Book of the Year Award and was shortlisted for the Ondaatje Prize and Costa Prize. He also writes for the Guardian, the Times, London Review of Books and Granta. He lives in Edinburgh with his wife and children. Find him on Twitter @gavinfranc and online at www.gavinfrancis.com. Wellcome Collection is a free museum and library that aims to challenge how we think and feel about health. Wellcome Collection exhibitions, events and books explore a diverse range of subjects, including consciousness, forensic medicine, emotions, sexology, identity and death. wellcomecollection.org

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