Book Launch—A Life in Medicine: From Asclepius to Beckett by Eoin O’Brien


The Lilliput Press cordially invites you to the book launch of

A Life in Medicine: From Asclepius to Beckett
Professor Eoin O’Brien

With guest speaker
Robert Ballagh

6.30pm Thursday 18 May 2023

at Dubray Books, 36 Grafton Street, Dublin, D02 X560

All welcome

In his memoir, A Life in Medicine: From Asclepius to Beckett, Eoin O’Brien, an Irish cardiologist and clinical scientist of international repute, recounts his life in medicine and his friendships with doctors, scientists, writers and painters.

O’Brien’s love of literature and the arts brought him into close contact with some remarkable writers and artists, among them Samuel Beckett, Edith Fournier, Nevill Johnson, Con Leventhal, Brian O’Doherty and Niall Sheridan. His writing yields glimpses into the lives of these individuals, and his reminiscences of his friendship with Samuel Beckett movingly casts new light on the warmth and personality of the Nobel Prize-winner.

Eoin O’Brien has held professorial positions at both the Royal College of Surgeons and at University College Dublin and is a fellow of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of London and of Edinburgh. He is author of several books on medicine and literature. These include Conscience and Conflict: A Biography of Sir Dominic Corrigan, 1802–1880 (1983), A Portrait of Irish Medicine: An Illustrated History of Medicine in Ireland (1984), The Beckett Country: Samuel Beckett’s Ireland (1986), The Weight of Compassion & other essays (2012). He co-edited, with Gerald Dawe, Ethna MacCarthy: Poems (2019).

‘In this splendid memoir Eoin O’Brien recuperates a vanished world, if only in words … a rich and varied tapestry. This is fascinating, affecting and oddly bracing. It celebrates, and commemorates, both the things of the mind and of the world. In places it is angry – this physician did not always see eye to eye with the Irish medical establishment – and in places wistful, but in all its parts it is grandly affirmative.’ JOHN BANVILLE, Foreword

‘When you meet Eoin O’Brien you are immediately aware that you are in the presence of a brilliant scientific mind – but more than that, because his natural curiosity and his warm open-mindedness keeps leading him from his profoundly important field of medicine into the vast, creative worlds of literature and the visual arts. His fascinating memoir reflects this unusually broad interest. And, for me personally, his passages dealing with his friendship with the great Samuel Beckett are the jewel in the crown of this splendid book.’ DESMOND MORRIS, author of The Naked Ape