Non-fiction this time, and one to make your heart race. I recently attended an interesting interview of renowned English brain surgeon, Henry Marsh. Although he has a new book out (Admission: A Life in Brain Surgery), I opted to buy his first memoir, Do No Harm. And what a read it is - fascinating, compelling, humane, startling. In the preface, Marsh writes about his search "to find a balance between the necessary detachment and compassion" required of a surgeon - perhaps never more important than when operating on the brain. This book will make you think about your own brain, perhaps prize it a little more; certainly marvel at its delicate but incredible power. It also made me think about the astonishing complications of a career in brain surgery, that near-impossible balance "between hope and realism". Henry Marsh is nearing retirement now, although judging by his casual mention of the amount of medical, charitable, and literary work he continues to do, he seems a long way from putting his feet up. Do No Harm is a wise, thought-provoking, honest book that you will not easily forget.
Amanda O'Callaghan is an award-winning writer of short stories and flash fiction. She has been published and won awards in Australia, Ireland and the UK.
Queensland Literary Fellowship
I am honoured to have been one of three recipients of a Queensland Writers Fellowship (2016). Congratulations to my fellow awardees: Trent Jamieson and Pamela Rushby