A Fortunate Man: The Story of a Country Doctor
In 1966 John Berger spent three months in the Forest of Dean shadowing an English country GP, John Sassall. Sassall is a fortunate man - his work occupies and fulfils him, he lives amongst the patients he treats, the line between his life and his work is happily blurred. In A Fortunate Man, Berger's text and the photography of Jean Mohr reveal with extraordinary intensity the life of a remarkable man. It is a portrait of one selfless individual and the rural community for which he became the hub. Drawing on psychology, biography and medicine A Fortunate Man is a portrait of sacrifice. It is also a profound exploration of what it means to be a doctor, to serve a community and to heal. It comes with a new introduction by novelist and GP, Gavin Francis.
* A masterpiece. When A Fortunate Man was published in 1967 it marked the most significant step forward in the collaboration of a writer and photographer since Let us Now Praise Famous Men by Walker Evans and James Agee. Incredibly, it still does -- GEOFF DYER * A genuine tour de force ...The intimate portrait of one man and his microscopic world reveals the faults and strains of a whole society OBSERVER * I only wish I could do justice in a few words to the richness that makes this book so compelling GUARDIAN * John Berger seems to me peerless; not since Lawrence has there been a writer who offers such attentiveness to the sensual world with responsiveness to the imperatives of conscience SUSAN SONTAG * This disturbingly beautiful book will continue to haunt you long after you have set it aside -- RICHARD HOLLOWAY * It's one of my favourite books in the world, an ongoing inspiration as to how books should be written (and photography used) -- ALAIN de BOTTON * A book about caring that will make you care, and a book about deep healing that may heal your soul. It is also, almost 50 years on, uncannily timely -- SIMON GARFIELD * This extraordinary book unravels the tangled branches of the everyday to reveal the brightness within. It inspires me to think more slowly, more deeply, to wear acquired knowledge lightly, to open my senses more fully to the wonders in the plain and close-at-hand -- JAMES MEEK * A masterpiece of witness; a three-way meditation on humanity, society and the value of healing -- GAVIN FRANCIS
John Berger was born in London in 1926. His seminal Ways of Seeing was one of the most influential books on art in the 20th century. His many books, innovative in form and far-reaching in their historical and political insight, include To the Wedding, King, and the Booker Prize-winning novel, G. Amongst his outstanding studies of art and photography are Another Way of Telling, The Success and Failure of Picasso, Titian: Nymph and Shepherd (with Katya Berger). He lives and works in a small village in the French Alps, the setting for his trilogy Into Their Labours (Pig Earth, Once in Europa and Lilac and Flag). His collection of essays The Shape of a Pocket was published in 2001. His most recent work, Understanding a Photograph, was edited by Geoff Dyer and published in 2013. Jean Mohr is a Swiss documentary photographer. He has worked with the Red Cross, the World Health Organization, and the International Labour Organization. Mohr studied Economics and Social Science at Geneva University, and later studied painting at the Academie Julian in Paris. He has produced 26 books of photography, five with his literary collaborator John Berger and one with Edward Said. In 1956 he married Simone Turrettini, a documentary filmmaker. They have two sons and four grandchildren.