Little, Brown has acquired "an unflinching insider’s account of medicine in the time of coronavirus" from palliative care doctor Dr Rachel Clarke.
Following Dear Life, which Little, Brown published in hardback on 30th January 2020, Clarke's new book is titled Breathtaking: Life and Death in a Time of Contagion and draws on her experience of caring for gravely unwell patients on the Covid-19 wards of her hospital.
The synopsis reads: "Amid the tensions, fatigue and rising death toll, she witnessed the courage of patients and NHS staff alike in conditions of unprecedented adversity. For all the bleakness and fear, she found that moments that could stop you in your tracks abounded. People who rose to their best, upon facing the worst, as a microbe laid waste to the population ... Drawing on testimony from nursing, acute and intensive care colleagues – as well as, crucially, her patients – Clarke argues that this age of contagion has inspired a profound attentiveness to – and gratitude for – what matters most in life."
Richard Beswick, publisher at Little, Brown, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Clare Alexander at Aitken Alexander, and will publish Breathtaking in hardback, e-book and audiobook in January 2021.
Clarke said: "In my 10 years as a doctor, I have never felt more proud and humbled to be a part of the NHS. I’ve seen the absolute best of human nature in the most painful circumstances imaginable. We can learn so much from these times."
Beswick said: 'Rachel Clarke’s intelligence, insight and empathy have established her as one of the foremost doctor-writers in the country. There can’t be anyone better placed to tell us the story of the last extraordinary year."