Staff Pick: Irene on Life on the Ground Floor by James Maskalyk

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Irene says:

Winner of the Hilary Weston Prize for Non-Fiction.

On first examination, this book is a medical memoir by an emergency room physician about his work at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, as well as the Black Lion Hospital in Addis Ababa. Despite the obvoous differences in resources that are available to him and his colleagues at each location, what draws us into his high-adrenaline world are the needs and humanity of the people who come, or are brought, to the emergency room to be mended, have their suffering eased, and live longer. Using a chapter for each letter of the alphabet to structure his memoir (A for Airway, B for Breathing) Maskalyk begins and ends with his grandfather who lives in Northern Alberta. On the whole, a very personal story of idealism and passion, and so incredibly well written.

Currently this title is available in hardcover, which can be reserved here. The paperback is due out August 28th, and can be reserved in advance here.