The Reading Room: The Wellcome Book Prize

  The shortlist for the Wellcome Book Prize was announced today (http://wellcomebookprize.org/) Awarded annually, and open to works of fiction and nonfiction, the prize focuses on books that have some aspect of medicine, illness or health as their central theme. This year’s shortlist includes the following six titles: The Iceberg by Marion Coutts Do No […]

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The Reading Room: A review of ‘Performance, Madness and Psychiatry’

  Performance, Madness and Psychiatry Isolated Acts Edited by Anna Harpin & Juliet Foster   Reviewed by Femi Oyebode National Centre for Mental Health 25 Vincent Drive Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2FG Femi_oyebode@msn.com   In the spring of 1836, John Clare (1793-1864) visited Peterborough and accompanied Mrs. Marsh, the bishop’s wife, to the theatre to see Merchant […]

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The Reading Room: A review of ‘Jo Spence, The Final Project’

  Reviewed by Steven Kenny     Jo Spence, The Final Project, 1991–92. © The Estate of Jo Spence. Courtesy Richard Saltoun Gallery, London.   Jo Spence was a pioneering figure within the realms of photographic discourse, image based political activism and the application of photography as a therapeutic tool. From the early 1970s Spence worked within […]

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Physicians and Magicians: A Magical Education in Life, Death, Power, Potions and Defence Against the Dark Arts by Fiona Dogan and Mark Harper

Abstract The worlds of magic and medicine both involve the sudden initiation of an intimate relationship between two complete strangers – the magician and their subject, or the doctor and their patient. Magic requires the subject to have some degree of trust in the magician, to accept that props and setting may be required to […]

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The Reading Room: A review of Katrina Bramstedt’s ‘Trapped in my own labyrinth: poetry spawned by vertigo’

  Reviewed by Giskin Day, Senior Teaching Fellow, Imperial College London   Many people, including me until I read Katrina Bramstedt’s book, mistakenly use ‘vertigo’ to describe a fear of heights. The correct term for this is ‘acrophobia’. Vertigo is a serious and disabling symptom of a constellation of inner-ear disorders that describes a disorientating, spinning […]

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Letting go of ourselves; how opening our minds will let us understand our patients by Benjamin Janaway

  Empathy is described by Webster’s dictionary as ‘the feeling that you understand and share another person’s experiences and emotions’ 1, the subjective knowledge that you can be inside the mind of another and feel things as they do. I would argue that although this is a beautiful concept, due to the variation of people’s […]

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The Reading Room: A review of Marion Coutts’s ‘The Iceberg’

The Iceberg by Marion Coutts Reviewed by Elizabeth Barry, Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies, University of Warwick Marion Coutts’s 2014 memoir The Iceberg details the period covering her husband Tom Lubbock’s diagnosis with an aggressive brain tumour, the progress of his condition, and his death. Lubbock, art critic for The Independent newspaper, himself […]

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