How does it feel to hold someone's life in your hands? What is it like to cut into someone else's body? How do you tell a beautiful young man who seems perfectly fit that he has only a few days left to live? What happens when, on a quiet ward late at night, a patient you've grown close to lifts the corner of his blankets and invites you into his bed? What is it like to stand by, powerless, while someone dies because of the incompetence of your seniors?
In this startling and honest book, female surgeon Gabriel Weston allows light to fall on the questions we have all wanted to ask about surgery. As well as an experienced surgeon, she is a writer of arresting talent: her compassionate and insightful account achieves what many fear the surgical profession itself fails to do, combining a fierce sense of human dignity with the professional necessity for detachment.
Direct Red is also unusual in telling the truth about what it is like to be a woman competing in a world dominated by Alpha males, in the big-city hospitals of the twenty-first century. She tells us what it is like to 'just go home and watch TV after acts that in a different setting could as easily point to the asylum'.
This is a wise and humane book whose truths about human nature in extremis will stay with you.