St Mary’s University, Twickenham is to celebrate the publication of The Language of Kindness, written by Creative and Professional Writing Senior Lecturer Christie Watson and set to be one of the standout books of 2018, with a reading and discussion at The Exchange.
Christie, who won the Costa First Novel Award for her debut, Tiny Sunbirds, Far Away, turned to memoir to write The Language of Kindness, inspired by her 20 years working as a nurse in the NHS. It has been described as “moving, eloquent, funny, inspiring—an urgent book for our times” by author Sarah Bakewell. It is published by Chatto and Windus on 3rd May, and is to be translated into 17 languages.
In the book, Christie opens the doors of Britain’s hospitals and shares the secrets of those who work there, and those who are treated, who live and die there. She takes us down side corridors to visit the wards and meet her unforgettable patients.
Celebrated children’s author Jacqueline Wilson called it “An amazing book – terrifying at times, but tender and truthful. Let's be thankful for wonderful nurses – and writers – like Christie Watson.”
The book has already been signed by production company Mammoth Screen, who produced Poldark and Victoria, to be turned into a television series.
It was recently extracted in The Sunday Times. The paper’s reviewer said: “I challenge anyone to get through all 322 pages without shedding a tear for what those who work in ‘the most undervalued of all professions’ have to witness.”
Speaking ahead of the event, Creative and Professional Writing Programme Director Jonathan Gibbs said: “This is a wonderful opportunity to hear from and ask questions of the author of what will undoubtedly be one of the year’s must-read books. It’s a privilege to teach alongside Christie at St Mary’s, and I know she has been inspirational to our students. We are all immensely proud of her.”
Tickets to the reading and Q&A are available through the Exchange website, with a reduced rate for Concessions and NHS Workers, and free entry for St Mary’s students and staff.