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The Language of Kindness


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About the Author

Christie Watson was a registered nurse for twenty years before writing full time. Her first novel, Tiny Sunbirds Far Away, won the Costa First Novel Award and her second novel, Where Women Are Kings, was also published to international critical acclaim. Her works have been translated to eighteen languages. She lives in London.


Named one of the Best Books of 2018 by The Guardian and The Sunday Times

"With grit and wisdom, this memoir of life as a nurse encompasses birth, death, and the unpredictable workings of minds and bodies in between. . . . Watson, who worked in British hospitals for twenty years before becoming a novelist, recounts the crises, triumphs, and uncertainties inherent in nursing others." --The New Yorker "I challenge anyone to get through all 336 pages without weeping. . . . Expect Watson's stories of patients like Tommy and Katie to linger with you many days after the final chapter." --The Sunday Times "Powerful. . . . An absorbing, all-seeing tour through the doors of the hospital." --Molly Case, The Observer "Christie Watson is a lovely writer--and, judging from this book, a gifted nurse." --The New York Times "Tender and beautifully written. . . . A love letter to a profession whose values are threatened." --The Daily Telegraph "Christie Watson is an inspiration. This book is breath-taking." --Emilia Clarke "This brilliant, life-changing book has to be experienced. . . . More than a memoir, The Language of Kindness exerts the power of a gripping novel." --The Irish Times "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." --Amanda Foreman, author of A World on Fire "Many doctors have been distinguished writers. . . .But we haven't heard enough from nurses, whose world is just as arcane and important. . . .The Language of Kindness could not be more compelling or more welcome: It's about how we survive, and about the people who help us do so." --Roxana Robinson, The New York Times Book Review "Moving, eloquent, funny, inspiring--an urgent book for our times." --Sarah Bakewell, author of At the Existentialist Cafe "The Language of Kindness has thoroughly resuscitated my faith in the genre. . . . 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, The Guardian

"If it's taken a very long time to get a memoir written by a nurse, then it was certainly worth the wait. I have rarely read anything that has moved me as much. . . . In both her nursing and her writing Watson achieves what we might call a state of grace. . . . An important guide to what a healthy society should value." --Allison Pearson, The Sunday Telegraph "This book is a timely reminder that in addition to the ever- increasing demands on nurses as medical professionals, they also have 'soul skills': dignity, peace, compassion, humanity. After reading this book, you'll feel there is no more awe-inspiring display of kindness than to be a nurse." --Spirituality & Health "Harrowing, heart-rending reading. . . . [an] eloquent, tender and brave book." --Literary Review "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." --Gavin Francis, author of Adventures in Human Being "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." --Rachel Joyce, author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

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