By Sheila Llewellyn
A stirring debut novel about the complex relationship between a soldier and his psychiatrist, set in a failing psychiatric hospital between the end of the Second World War and the founding of the NHS.
'Daniel stared at the white-ish brain matter clinging to the haft and clogging up the eye of the needle. Can it really be as easy as that - to scrape out someone's depression, their melancholy, their anxiety? To scrape out someone's emotions?'
Set in Northfield, an understaffed military psychiatric hospital immediately before the NHS is founded, Walking Wounded is the story of a doctor and his patient: David Reece, a young journalist-to be whose wartime experiences in Burma have come back to haunt him violently; and Daniel Carter, one of the senior psychiatrists, a man who is fighting his own battles as well as those of his patients.
Based closely on extensive research and inspired by the author's own experience treating victims of PTSD, this moving and impressive debut explores violence and how much harm it does to those forced to inflict it in the name of war. It also captures the dilemmas of the medics themselves as they attempt to 'fix' their patients, each of whom raise the question of what has happened to their humanity, what can be done to help them, and what we are willing to sacrifice in the name of healing.
Sheila Llewellyn was born in England and now lives in Northern Ireland. She completed a PHD in Creative Writing at the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry in Belfast in 2016. She has won the P J O'Connor RTÉ Radio One Drama Award and the Silver Award for the Best Broadcast Radio Drama in the New York International Radio Drama Festival in 2012. She has also been shortlisted for the Bridport Short Story Prize, the Seán Ó Faoláin Short Story Prize, and shortlisted twice for the Costa Short Story Award.
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- Publication date:
12 Jul 2018
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