We speak of doctors most often as heroes, martyrs, or victims. Drawing from forty years of experience working in an emergency psychiatric ward, Paolo Milone offers a more complex—and more compelling—picture. With prose at once direct and lyrical, he transports us inside Ward 77, where mental illness coexists with the ordinary lives of those who, at the end of their shifts, take their white coats off and have to remember to buy milk.
In this unsettling, absorbing, and transformative memoir Milone vividly conveys the curiosity and passion, the recurring sense of exasperation and dismay, and the humility and sense of wonder of those who have chosen to “look into the abyss through the eyes of the other.”
The Art of Binding People challenges many of our assumptions about mental health, as we follow nurses, doctors, and patients along the hospital corridors, we listen to their screams and silences, and we enter the lives of those living on both sides of the invisible, arbitrary line that separates the healthy from the sick.
Told with humor and compassion, Paolo Milone’s English-language debut is a work of striking humanity that conjures lasting beauty out of the darkness.
Paolo Milone was born in Genoa in 1954. He has worked as a psychiatrist for over forty years, first in a mental health clinic, then in an emergency psychiatric ward. The Art of Binding People is his first book.