Olive Kitteridge meets Do No Harm in this revealing and intimate interlinked collection of stories set in a hospital, written by a doctor
'Remarkable and full of grace. It broke my heart' Sarah Perry
'Guglani is the real deal' Michel Faber
'Profound . . . Poetic . . . Humane' Gabriel Weston
'Shows rare skill . . . Power and fear and morality' Sarah Moss, author of The Tidal Zone
HISTORIES is a hypnotic portrait of life in one hospital, over one week. In the corridors and consulting rooms, by the bedside, through the open curtain, we witness charged encounters within the emotional and physical world of medicine. Old insecurities surface as junior doctors try to save a man from dying; an enraged chaplain picks a fight with a consultant; a porter waxes lyrical on his invisibility.
These are only some of the stories that so seamlessly connect, collide and create an unforgettable panorama of being. Sam Guglani's vivid prose has the raw intensity of poetry that pulls the reader in on every page.
Remarkable and full of grace. It broke my heart. - Sarah Perry
Economical, emotionally involving, insightful and rather beautiful . . . A luminous argument for truly seeing and listening to others and to ourselves; it is a serious tilt at working out what matters, honed in places where people are tested by such questions every day. - Guardian
"Many times man lives and dies / Between his two eternities:" says Yeats, but for the physician, the cycle becomes infinitely more complicated: for if, as Donne declares, "every man's death diminishes me" then, as Sam Guglani points out, with elegance, compassion, sadness and, occasionally, justifiable anger, the cost of taking, recording, interpreting and bearing witness to so many 'histories' - of life, of diminishment, of death - should compel, not only the medical profession, but also the world at large, to ask the most basic questions about the rift between the duty of care and the accepted norms of medical practice. - John Burnside
Guglani's compassion for the souls and bodies inhabiting his hospital makes this book much bigger than it appears. But Histories is not just heart - Guglani is the real deal. Some will describe him as a doctor-turned-writer. On the evidence of this remarkable debut, I would say he's a writer who also happens to be a doctor. - Michel Faber
Sam Guglani is a doctor and writer. He completed his Masters in Creative Writing at Oxford, his poems have won prizes and he writes for The Lancet. In 2009 he founded Medicine Unboxed, an event series bringing together medicine and the arts, which he directs and curates every year. He is a Consultant Clinical Oncologist in Cheltenham.