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James Maskalyk set out for the contested border town of Abyei, Sudan in 2007 as Medicins Sans Frontieres' newest medical doctor in the field. Equipped with his experience as an emergency physician in a Western hospital and his desire to understand the most desperate parts of the world, Maskalyk returned home six months later more affected by the experience, the people and the place than he had anticipated. Six Months in Sudan is an illuminating and affecting account of saving lives in one of the most dangerous places on Earth. Six Months in Sudan began as a blog that he wrote from his hut in Sudan in an attempt to bring his family and friends closer to his hot, hot days. It is a story about humans: the people of Abyei who suffer its hardship because it is their home, and the doctors, nurses and countless volunteers who leave their homes with the tools to make another's easier to endure. With great hope and insight, Maskalyk illuminates a distant place - its heat, its people, its poverty, its war - to inspire possibilities for action.
Product Details

'Visceral and immediate ... As medical literature this book excels; as an insight into that exhilarating, life changing step into chaos his account can hardly be bettered.' Jonathan Kaplan, British Medical Journal

Promotional Information

A compelling and moving memoir about saving lives in one of the most dangerous regions in the world

About the Author

Dr. James Maskalyk is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Emergency Medicine at the University of Toronto, and he practises Emergency Medicine at St Michael's Hospital, Toronto. This is his first book.


Gripping and humane ... brave and intelligent. -- Ned Denny Daily Mail * Honest and fluently written ... An absorbing insight into international medicine. Financial Times * Carefully crafted, often poetic, always deliberate ... a visceral account. -- Mary Crockett The Scotsman A moving, sometimes beautifully written, account of a young doctor's time in the Sudanese town of Abeyi ... The book is very well written and consequently easy to read, despite the subject matter. The juxtaposition of the blog entries and the text works particularly well ... The book serves as a timely reminder that saving people's lives is worth doing, even in a recession. We are also saving ourselves. -- Padraig Carmody Irish Times * Six Months is Sudan is a wrenchingly heartbreaking account of distant agonies almost too pointed to grasp. Learning about Maskalyk's work there is stirring, but the real miracle is this book paints a picture so precisely and vividly that it becomes impossible to look away. This is Maskalyk's accomplishment, and his gift to the Sudanese and to us. The shame of our indifference retreats before his exhortation: 'learn, and understand,' and perhaps a more bearable future becomes possible for all of us. -- Kevin Patterson * This journey is beautifully told in sharp beats, and lyrical notes. It is the voyage of a young doctor out into a hard world, and deep within his own heart. -- Vincent Lam * Maskalyk's soft prose is beautiful and invites with the right intimate details. He offers a rare window on the inner life of an aid worker, on what it means to be a humanitarian around the hard edges of war, and on the certain drive to go on. Why? Because in his words, 'hope not only meets despair in equal measure, it drowns it.' -- James Orbinski * Visceral and immediate ... As medical literature this book excels; as an insight into that exhilarating, life changing step into chaos his account can hardly be bettered. -- Jonathan Kaplan British Medical Journal Through a narrative both personal and provocative, Maskalyk succeeds in animating the quotidien struggles of life in Sudan in ways news reports never will - 'for those who think life is too short, come to Abyei.' -- Peter Geoghegan Sunday Business Post * Searingly unwrapped the truth about serving as a medecin sans frontiers. I quote from it almost every week, for its profound truthfulness. -- Sheena McDonald Sunday Herald * Heartbreaking scenes are recounted with searing honesty and without a trace of self-satisfaction or self-congratulation ... although the situation was depressingly sad, and at times he despaired, it was also a privilege for him to be involved, he says. It is a privilege for us to read about that involvement. Irish Times

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