Posted: March 30, 2018

Free Thinking Festival – video ‘In my humble opinion’

‘In My Humble Opinion’ is a BBC Ideas site.

I met them at BBC Radio 3’s Free Thinking Festival at Sage, Gateshead, earlier this month. They recorded my thoughts about our loss of knowledge about normal dying.

Dying – not as bad as you’re probably expecting.

Here’s their video.

Posted: March 20, 2018

Wellcome Book Prize 2018 – Short List is announced

Well, I am just thrilled and astonished.

With the End in Mind is amongst the six books on the Wellcome Book Prize shortlist. What an honour!

I’m going to read these five intriguing books, before we six authors meet up for the Prize Ceremony and announcement of the winner on 30th April.

Take a look at the list, and pick your own favourite. They all look like winners to me!

Posted: March 1, 2018

Boundless magazine: Arifa Akbar chats to Kathryn Mannix

Great to chat about dying, death and life in general with Arifa.

Our discussion included how it feels to spend a lifetime working with dying people.

Arifa: What are the emotional and psychological effects of working in palliative care for so long? Do you think you value the life you have more as a result, or feel its fragility more keenly?

Kathryn: I get asked this a lot, and I still don’t have a good answer! Palliative care has been the most rewarding combination of clinical detective-work, therapeutic challenge, emotional fulfilment and occasional heartbreak. It has suited me, and hasn’t felt over-demanding – although it has certainly eaten into my family and personal time down the years.

I think having a sense both of our physical fragility and of our astonishing emotional resilience has made me appreciate the daily wonder of being. It makes the special things more resonant, and it (mainly) gets the irritating things in perspective. I laugh a lot. I think palliative care has taught me the value of joy in the tiny things, all around us, every day. What a gift.

Here’s our chat in full.
Photos: Craig Fordham

Posted: February 8, 2018

Wellcome Book Prize – Long list announced

Fantastic news!

With the End in Mind is one of the 12 books long-listed for the Wellcome Book Prize 2018.

Edmund de Waal commented on behalf of the judging panel:

“The Wellcome Book Prize is unique in its reach across genres, and so the range of books that we have considered has been exhilarating in its extent and ambition. This is a remarkable time for readers, with a great flourishing of writing on ideas around science, medicine and health, lives and deaths, histories and futures. After passionate discussions we have arrived at our longlist for the Wellcome Book Prize 2018 and are proud to be part of this process of bringing to a wider public these 12 tremendous books that have moved, intrigued and inspired us. All of them bring something new to our understanding of what it is to be human.”

Read about all the nominees here: it’s a fascinating, wide-ranging and thought-provoking list.