Memento Mori
Mohan Rao
BEING MORTAL: MEDICINE AND WHAT MATTERS IN THE END by Atul Gawande Hamish Hamilton, New Delhi, 2015, 283 pp., 599
February 2015, volume 39, No 2

This is an extraordinary book and the author, Atul Gawande, is an extraordinary surgeon, one sensitive to pain, but more importantly, to history. In my review of one of his earlier books, Complications (a collection of essays previously published in the New Yorker), for The Book Review (Vol. XXVI, No. 7, July 2002), I noted that the ’rich case histories are embellished by an impressive reading of the scientific literature and yet written in an eminently accessible language‘. Using similar methods, Being Mortal addresses an extremely troubling and emotive issue namely, aging and dying. The book has been long-listed for the prestigious Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction in 2014 which it richly deserves to win.

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