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A Doctor's Dictionary
A Doctor's Dictionary

A Doctor's Dictionary

Writings on Culture and Medicine


328 Pages, 5.5 x 8.5

Formats: Trade Paper, Mobipocket, EPUB, PDF

Trade Paper, $25.99 (US $25.99) (CA $30.99)

Publication Date: October 2015

ISBN 9781784100568

Rights: US, CA, NZ, CAM, SAM, CAR, PH, KR & FM

Carcanet Press, Ltd. (Oct 2015)
Carcanet Press Ltd.


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In this pithy abecedarium, doctor and poet Iain Bamforth takes a close look at the conflict of values embodied in what we call medicine—never entirely a science and no longer quite the art it used to be. Bamforth brings his wide experience of medicine around the world, from the high-tech American Hospital of Paris to the community health centers of Papua, together with his engaging interest in the stranger manifestations of medical matters in relation to art, literature, and culture—such as the mysterious "Stendhal's syndrome," which caused 106 tourists in Florence to be hospitalized due to an overload of sublime Renaissance art.


"Bamforth's work is rich in perceptual acquaintance, making it not only intelligent but also extremely sensual. To read him makes the patterns of our minds richer."  —Guardian

"I like his rigour and his epigrammatic flair . . . he is original despite himself."  —Robert Nye, Scotsman

"This collection is a joy to read, full of so much nuance, and persuasive language, a permanent wistfulness that never strays into the twee and the constant sense of travel, of movement and growth."  —Matt Macdonald, Scottish Review of Books, on The Crossing Fee

Author Biography

Iain Bamforth is a former hospital doctor, a general practitioner, a translator, a lecturer in comparative literature, and a public health consultant. He is the author of five books of poetry, including The Crossing Fee; The Body in the Library, an account of modern medicine as told through literature; and The Good European, a collection of writings on ideas and literature in European history.