Views & Reviews Between the Lines

Mortality and immortality

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 11 October 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d6449
  1. Theodore Dalrymple, writer and retired doctor

The Prix Goncourt, whose British equivalent is the Booker prize, was won in 2001 by a doctor, Jean-Christophe Rufin, for his historical novel Rouge Brésil. The author has had a remarkable career; he is what the French call a surdoué—a prodigy.

An early member of Médecins Sans Frontières, Rufin has worked in Africa, Latin America, and Asia. A consultant in neurology in Paris, he has also been French cultural attaché in Brazil and French ambassador to Senegal. He has fulfilled many administrative and academic duties, learnt several languages, and written 15 books, translated into many tongues, that have sold millions of copies worldwide. He became an immortel, one of the 40 members of the Académie Française, in …

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