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Observations BMJ Confidential

Joanna Cannon: Psychiatry and paperbacks

BMJ 2017; 357 doi: (Published 10 May 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;357:j2141


Joanna Cannon is an NHS psychiatrist who wrote a bestseller, The Trouble with Goats and Sheep, scribbled during her lunch breaks and those few moments of the night when her patients were all asleep. Her life story reads like fiction: she left school with one O-level and worked as a kennel maid and pizza deliverer before passing A-levels and going to Leicester University to read medicine in her 30s. She experienced long term psychological injuries from a car crash in her 20s, leading to panic attacks. Her book is about people who, like her patients, “un-belong”—told through the eyes of two young girls who stumble on long hidden secrets in their search for a missing …

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