|"Though he calls his ambitious work ‘merely a snapshot’, his modesty belies the collection’s impressive range of surveyed authors… Will entertain literary scholars and medical students alike." - Publishers Weekly|
|Psychiatrist and Author|
John Keats, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, François Rabelais,
William Somerset Maugham . . .
All were writers of fiction but, more surprisingly, all were also medical doctors:
Anton Chekhov, A.J. Cronin, Oliver St John Gogarty,
Michael Crichton . . . even Nostradamus
The world has seen literally dozens of them – famous writers who wielded a stethoscope as skilfully as they did a pen. So, what do literature and medicine have in common? Is there something about the singular experience of being a doctor that results in a compelling desire for communication, or indeed catharsis?
In addition, we have seen many non-medical writers who have made fictional physicians their principal protagonists, heroes and villains alike, so compellingly vivid they keep the pages turning:
Dr Jekyll, Doctor Zhivago, Hannibal Lecter, Doc Daneeka,
Dick Diver . . .
And of course there are numerous examples of writers who have deftly described fictional patients struck down by illness in the key twist of a plot. Think of:
Ian McEwan, Albert Camus, Sebastian Faulks,
Gabriel Garcia Márquez, Thomas Mann . . .
In this fascinating and unique book, psychiatrist Stephen McWilliams considers the above and many more in his exploration of the links between literature and medicine.
With hundreds of examples, "Fiction and Physicians" provides an entertaining and absorbing look at how the world of medicine has inspired centuries of Irish, European and American literature.
"Fiction & Physicians: Medicine through the Eyes of Writers"
Published by The Liffey Press (ISBN: 978-1-908308-26-9)
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