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The Iceberg: A memoir
  1. Katharine Harding
  1. correspondence to Department of Neurology, University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff CF14 4XW katharineharding{at}

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The Iceberg1 is a powerful book by the artist Marion Coutts about her husband Tom Lubbock, a well-known art critic. In 2008 he had a seizure and was found to have a brain tumour. At first this responded well to surgery and radiotherapy, but in 2010 it recurred, and he died in 2011. The main focus of the book is the effect of the diagnosis and progressive symptoms on their relationship with each other and with their 18-month-old son.

We discussed the many practical clinical lessons from this book. The importance of good communication, a theme touched on in previous book clubs, was again underlined. After one clinical encounter, the author and her husband could remember only the doctor's unfriendly …

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