The Language of Kindness
A Nurse's Story
by Christie Watson
Pub Date 03 May 2018
THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER
*A Guardian, Sunday Times, Daily Telegraph, The Times, New Statesman Netgalley and Reading Agency Book of the Year 2018*
An astonishing memoir about nursing and an urgent call for compassion and kindness
‘It made me cry. It made me think. It made me laugh. It encouraged me to appreciate this most underappreciated of professions more than ever’ Adam Kay, author of This is Going to Hurt
Christie Watson was a nurse for twenty years. Taking us from birth to death and from A&E to the mortuary, The Language of Kindness is an astounding account of a profession defined by acts of care, compassion and kindness.
We watch Christie as she nurses a premature baby who has miraculously made it through the night, we stand by her side during her patient’s agonising heart-lung transplant, and we hold our breath as she washes the hair of a child fatally injured in a fire, attempting to remove the toxic smell of smoke before the grieving family arrive.
In our most extreme moments, when life is lived most intensely, Christie is with us. She is a guide, mentor and friend. And in these dark days of division and isolationism, she encourages us all to stretch out a hand.
‘A remarkable book about life and death and so brilliantly written it makes you hold your breath’ Ruby Wax
A Note From the Publisher
'An amazing book - terrifying at times, but tender and truthful. Let's be thankful for wonderful nurses - and writers - like Christie Watson'
‘Christie Watson is a remarkable writer turning her attention to a crucially important conversation. This book is eloquent, moving and searingly relevant to all of us.’
NATHAN FILER, Costa-award-winning author of The Shock of the Fall and psychiatric nurse.
‘I was enthralled from the start. Nurse’s voices are so rarely heard and Christie is so honest, wise and observant of people that she is just the person to do their story justice. And of course she writes beautifully. The image that stayed with me long after I had put the book down was of the nurse always with the patient, even after everybody else has gone.’
SUZANNE O’SULLIVAN, winner of the Wellcome book prize and author of It’s All in your Head
‘A wise and tender book, by turns fierce, compassionate, and revelatory. It shows the joys and the difficulties of looking after people at their most vulnerable, and makes an urgent plea: as a society we have to care better for the nurses who care for us.’
DR GAVIN FRANCIS, author of Adventures in Human Being
'Christie Watson writes with the fullness of her heart to give us insight into the world of patients and nursing, inspiring us to recognise it is how we treat people, how we speak and respond to them, as well as what we do, that heals. It’s message of self-compassion and kindness is as useful for those of us outside the medical world, as in it.'
JULIA SAMUEL, author of Grief Works
‘Moving, eloquent, funny, inspiring - an urgent book for our times."
‘This beautiful memoir - tender, informative, unflinching, every sentence filled with compassion, has reminded me that when I have felt most alone I am of course not alone at all.”
‘It is very hard to describe the essence of nursing but Christie’s story captures it. Through her powerful writing the true value of the nurse becomes clear.’
JANET DAVIES, Chief Executive and General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing
‘A remarkable book… Absolutely brilliant!"
CLIVE STAFFORD SMITH OBE, human rights lawyer, and Founder, Reprieve
‘A piercingly tender book about kindness, human dignity and equality’
NICKY PARKER, Amnesty International UK
'Christie Watson’s book brings home the incredible strength and determination that nurses working in our critically underfunded NHS must possess – and how wildly underappreciated they are'
RACHAEL JOLLEY, Editor, Index on Censorship
'There is so much love in this book that it makes the tears bearable. Christie Watson has written a beautiful and lyrical account of the true meaning of a nurse's life.'