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C Helman, 142: Double Storey Books, 2004, pp 224. ISBN 1919930767
The Suburban Shaman is the title of a new book of stories by Cecil Helman, family practitioner, social anthropologist, ex-ship’s doctor, researcher, and published writer. It provides the reader with a wonderful magical, mystery tour of stories from his career thus far. It is only available in South Africa at the moment (www.kalahari.net) but available via the usual easy routes in our global world. I am told publishers are sought in the US (likely) and the UK (perhaps).
The book is composed of three parts and these mark the three phases of Helman’s expansive career. What are these stories and what or who are they for?
The stories are invariably about patients and memories of patients collected over the last 27 years of clinical practice. There are links and resonances with other works—for example, Dostoyevsky—and this juxtaposition works particularly well when they appear.