Fifteen talented writers each explore a different body part in this funny and moving collection.
Published to accompany BBC Radio 3's A Body of Essays series
Buried beneath layers of flesh, our hearts pump, our lungs inflate, our kidneys filter. These organs, and others, are essential to our survival but remain largely unknown to us. And yet they all have stories to tell.
So who better to tell them than fifteen of the world's finest writers? Working with medical experts, each writer has chosen a different organ: Naomi Alderman unravels the intestines and our obsession with food and digestion; AL Kennedy gets inside the nose and our sense of smell; Philip Kerr traces the development of brain surgery; and Ned Beauman argues that the appendix might not be as useless as we think.
The human stomach, we discover, contains as many brain cells as a cat has in its head. The lungs weigh about the same as a loaf of bread. A traumatic memory can show itself on the skin. Moving, comical and endlessly surprising, Beneath the Skin is an unforgettable voyage through the mysterious landscape of our anatomy.
Features essays by Naomi Alderman, Ned Beauman, Kayo Chingonyi, Abi Curtis, Imtiaz Dharker, William Fiennes, Annie Freud, AL Kennedy, Philip Kerr, Thomas Lynch, Patrick McGuinness, Daljit Nagra, Chibundu Onuzo, Christina Patterson, Mark Ravenhill.
Beneath the Skin is published in association with Wellcome Collection, a free museum and library that aims to challenge how we think and feel about health. Inspired by the medical objects and curiosities collected by Henry Wellcome, it connects science, medicine, life and art. Wellcome Collection exhibitions, events and books explore a diverse range of subjects, including consciousness, forensic medicine, emotions, sexology, identity and death.
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