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Brunel University lecturer awarded prestigious literary award

Dr. Cecil Helman, a Professor of Medical Anthropology and lecturer of Social Sciences at Brunel University has been awarded the prestigious Medical Journalists Association Book Award 2007 for his memoir 'Suburban Shaman; Tales from Medicine's Frontline.'
Dr. Helman, originally from Cape Town, South Africa takes the reader on a journey through his experience of apartheid in South Africa and his time as a doctor on a Mediterranean cruise ship, to observing curative trance dances in the favelas of Brazil to finally becoming a family practitioner in London in the early 1970s.
Filled with anecdotes from his career, 'Suburban Shaman' shows how medicine is not just about science, but also about the stories of patients and doctors, and the intermingling of their lives.
The book has received wide critical acclaim in both medical and literary spheres since its publication, and was selected by BBC Radio 4's Kate Adie as her 'Pick of the Week' in March, 2006.

Dr. Helman comments: “Suburban Shaman gives a personal perspective on the subjects that have fascinated me throughout my career. I am honored to be awarded such a prestigious award.“
Speaking of 'Suburban Shaman', renowned neurologist and writer Oliver Sacks writes: "Cecil Helman is many things: old-fashioned general practitioner, psychiatrist, cultural anthropologist, storyteller, poet and artist - and all this comes together in 'Suburban Shaman', a beautifully written, devastatingly honest, and often very funny, account of an audacious and adventurous life."

Prof. Helman is also the author of the standard international textbook 'Culture, Health and Illness'. Since its first publication in 1984, it has been used as a textbook in over 40 countries. The 5th edition was published in early 2007.


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