I’m so excited to announce that the subject of MY NEXT BOOK will be on the birth of plastic surgery told through the incredible story of Harold Gillies, the pioneering and eccentric surgeon who first united art and medicine to address the horrific injures that resulted from World War I.
From the moment that the “Dhak! Dhak! Dhak! Dhak!” of the first machine gun rang out over the Western Front, one thing was clear: mankind’s military technology at the start of WWI wildly outpaced its medical capabilities. Bullets whizzed through the air at incredible speeds, discharging as much as 7,200 horsepower of energy in a single shot. Shells and mortar bombs exploded with a force that flung men around the battlefield like rag dolls. And a deadly new threat in the form of hot chunks of shrapnel—coated in the filth and bacteria of the battlefield—wrought terrible injuries on its victims. Had it not been for the heroic efforts of one man, these soldiers would have also been condemned to a lifetime of isolation.
My book will follow the story of Harold Gillies [pictured right, copyright: Dr. Andrew Bamji] who was presented with the seemingly impossible task of reconstructing entire faces with no textbooks to guide him, and no mentors to consult for advice. Working closely with a team of artists, Gillies did not just strive to restore function to his patients, many of whom could not breathe, swallow, or eat efficiently because of the damage to their faces. He was determined to give them back their identities as well. Here, you see an incredible example of reconstructive work from this era.
I can’t wait to share this inspiring story with the world.
As with all good news, there is a bittersweet side to this announcement. I’m thrilled to be working with my wonderful publisher FSG again, but sadly my editor Amanda Moon will be leaving next month to begin her own consulting business. She will be sorely missed, though I’m looking forward to working with the brilliant Colin Dickerman on this second project.