When Molly Case's father is admitted for major cardiac surgery on the high dependency unit she works on as a nurse, their two worlds collide, as Molly supports him through the fear and uncertainty of diagnosis and recovery. Structured around the standard nursing examination of a critically unwell patient, ABCDE (Airway, Breathing, Circulation, Disability and Exposure), How to Treat People delves into what it means to care, and what really matters to us when we are at our most vulnerable.
Weaving medical history, biography, family life and poetry, How to Treat People explores the oscillating rhythms of human experience, the importance of what we impart and the legacies we leave behind - a memoir that reminds us what it is to be human.
'A father...is a necessary evil.' Stephen Dedalus in Ulysses
In Mad, Bad, Dangerous to Know Colm Tóibín turns his incisive gaze to three of Ireland's greatest writers, Oscar Wilde, W.B. Yeats and James Joyce, and their earliest influences: their fathers. From Wilde's doctor father, a brilliant statistician and amateur archaeologist, who was taken to court by an obsessed lover in a strange premonition of what would happen to his son; to Yeats' father, an impoverished artist and brilliant letter-writer who could never finish apainting; to John Stanislus Joyce, a singer, drinker and story-teller, a man unwilling to provide for his large family, whom his son James memorialised in his work.
Colm Tóibín illuminates not only the complex relationships between three of the greatest writers in the English language and their fathers, but also illustrates the surprising ways they surface in their work.