Charting the dynamism of human body and mind, writer-doctor Gavin Francis traces the linkage between mankind and its inevitable transformation in his book “The Shapeshifters: On Medicine and Human Change”.
The book draws on Francis’ real-life experiences to explain bodily transformations like prosthetics, castration, tattooing, hallucinations, werewolves, and bodybuilding among others.
It takes the reader through familiar and expected bodily milestones — like pregnancy or menopause — and the ones that take us by surprise — “being thrown into the shadows of dementia, or having a limb amputated”.
The Shapeshifters (Profile Books/Rs 599/282 pages) explores the “unprecedented power of medicine to alter our lives and the limitations of that power”.
The cover page of the book correlates, within the human body, terms like “memory, hallucination, aging, puberty, gender, menopause, birth, death”, to show the strong connection of the human body with change.
While largely avoiding medical jargon, the book borrows from art, history, myth and magic to show how the very essence of being human is change.
Having authored “Adventures in Human Being” previously, Francis has shared his clinical experience in the book acquired over the course of his medical practice. IANS