Books

Shapeshifters

On medicine & human change

This fascinating collection cuts to the heart of existence.

Anita Sethi, Observer

In his years of practising, Gavin Francis has seen it all: the promising law student trapped under the spell of anorexia; the bodybuilder whose use of illegal steroids threatens his fertility; the teenager agonising over the perplexing physical dramas of puberty; and the surprisingly upbeat woman growing a horn in the centre of her forehead.

In Shapeshifters he draws on his patients’ bodily transformations, both welcome and unwelcome, bringing together case histories and accounts from the history of medicine, art, literature, myth and magic to show how the very essence of being human is change.

Date published
Format
Paperback
Extent
304pp
ISBN
9781781257746
Buy the book

About the author

Photograph of Gavin Francis

Gavin Francis

Gavin Francis has worked across four continents as a surgeon, emergency physician, medical officer with the British Antarctic Survey and latterly as a GP; he has described the pandemic response of 2020 as the most intense period of his 20-year career in medicine. He’s the author of the Sunday Times bestseller ‘Adventures in Human Being’, which was a BMA Book of the Year, and ‘Shapeshifters’. His books have won the SMIT Scottish Book of the Year Award, the Saltire Award for Non-Fiction and been shortlisted for the Ondaatje and Costa Prizes. He also writes for the Guardian, The Times, the London Review of Books and Granta. He lives in Edinburgh with his wife and children.