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The Cancer Finishing School : Lessons in Laughter, Love and Resilience - Peter Goldsworthy

The Cancer Finishing School

Lessons in Laughter, Love and Resilience

By: Peter Goldsworthy

Paperback | 5 March 2024 | Edition Number 1

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From poet and bestselling novelist Peter Goldsworthy, this darkly funny, bittersweet memoir offers lessons in how to live life in the shadow of an incurable illness.

'My first stray thought- cancer is a gift. I'm lucky to have it. What priceless material for a doctor-writer.'

What lessons might cancer teach him before it finishes him off? Peter Goldsworthy asks, obliquely.

A GP of forty years' practice, as well as one of Australia's most awarded and celebrated writers, Goldsworthy ('Doctor Pete' to his patients) brings his characteristic black humour and storytelling power to the tale of his own cancer journey.

Accidentally diagnosed after a scan of his dicky knee, he was thrown into a world that he knew only too well from the other side- a world that soon shrank to hospital visits, sleepless and hyped-up nights on dexamethasone and life-saving chemotherapy.

Never one to waste a story, Peter intersperses his own experience with odd and astonishing case stories of patients and literary friends who have trodden the same path- both cautionary tales and exemplary tales, sometimes laugh-out-loud, sometimes deeply moving, that intersect with, or refract, his own travels through denial, acceptance, treatment and survival.

Darkly funny, and filled with growing love and wonder, The Cancer Finishing School offers lessons in how to live life in the shadow of an incurable illness.

About the Author

Peter Goldsworthy grew up in various Australian country towns, finishing his schooling in Darwin. After graduating in medicine from the University of Adelaide in 1974 he worked for several years in alcohol and drug rehabilitation, but since then has divided his working time between general practice and writing. He has won major literary awards across a range of genres- poetry, short story, novels, theatre, and opera libretti. Goldsworthy's novels have sold over 400 000 copies in Australia alone, and have been translated into European and Asian languages. His novels have three times been shortlisted for the NSW Christina Stead Fiction Prize, and twice for the Miles Franklin Award. Three Dog Night won the 2004 FAW Christina Stead Award, and was longlisted for the Dublin IMPAC prize. In 2003, his first novel, Maestro, was voted by members of the Australian Society of Authors as one of the Top 40 Australian books of all time. Five of his novels have been adapted for stage and screen. Everything I Knew, published in 2008, was shortlisted for the Prime Minister's Fiction Prize. A collection of short stories, Gravel, was published in 2010.

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