From birth to death, a lyrical exploration of the role of transformation in human life
To be alive is to be in perpetual metamorphosis: growing, healing, learning, aging. In Shapeshifters, physician and writer Gavin Francis considers the inevitable changes all of our bodies undergo—such as birth, puberty, and death, but also laughter, sleeping, and healing—and those that only some of our bodies will: like getting a tattoo, experiencing psychosis, suffering anorexia, being pregnant, or undergoing a gender transition. In Francis’s hands, each event becomes an opportunity to explore the meaning of identity and the natures—biological, psychological, and philosophical—of our selves. True to its own subject, Shapeshifters combines Francis’s lyrical imagination and deep knowledge of medicine and the humanities for a life-altering read.
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“Wonderful, written with a deep feeling for language. A writer-physician who sees the drama and beauty in human life.”
Annie Dillard, author of An American Childhood