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  • Published: 9 May 2023
  • ISBN: 9780143776857
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 192
  • RRP: $35.00

There’s a Cure for This: A Memoir

The striking debut memoir from award-winning doctor and writer, Emma Espiner.

“I don’t know why medicine felt like coming home but, for some reason, it fits. I keep thinking about how the tohu, once awarded, can never be taken back. There are few things in life that emphatic. Better not fuck it up.”
From award-winning writer Dr Emma Espiner comes this striking and profound debut memoir.

Encompassing whānau, love, death, ’90s action movies and scarfie drinking, There’s a cure for this is Espiner’s own story, from a childhood spent shuttling between a ‘purple lesbian state house and a series of man-alone rentals’ to navigating parenthood on her own terms; from the quietly perceived inequities of her early life to hard-won revelations as a Māori medical student and junior doctor during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Clear, irreverent and beautiful, this book offers a candid and moving examination of what it means to be human when it seems like nothing less than superhuman will do.

‘Deadly serious, darkly funny. An exploration of hurt and healing, love and loss, life and death, motherhood and medicine. Espiner’s frank account of finding her vocation as a Māori doctor is so precise it cuts bone deep. A controlled and fearless narrator of the visceral facts of our shared humanity and the various kinds of suffering science is no match for — including, at times, her own — she takes us to the heart of what tears us apart and shows us how to put ourselves back together again.’ — NOELLE McCARTHY
‘Gutsy, fierce, reflective. Dr Emma Espiner tells compelling stories about finding and then making her own path — as a modern Māori woman; a descendant, mother, friend and partner; a doctor of medicine. She does not skip over the twists and turns . . . her insights are both useful and at times provocative.’ — DR HINEMOA ELDER

Chapter titles:
Sweet llamas in the night
Return to Castle Wolfenstein
He was the author of his own demise
I am going to demonstrate empathy now
Please explain the gaps in your CV
Māori doctor
Colonising the coloniser
Don’t plant a fruit tree over your uterus
Tangi on State Highway 1
‘E kōrero ana ahau i te reo Māori anake Māmā’
She had an epiphany on a beach in Northland
The end of the beginning
Practical skills for the zombie apocalypse
How not to sit an exam
Storytelling is the medicine

  • Published: 9 May 2023
  • ISBN: 9780143776857
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 192
  • RRP: $35.00

About the author

Emma Wehipeihana (Espiner)

Dr. Emma Espiner (Ngāti Tukorehe, Ngāti Porou) is an award-winning writer, broadcaster and political commentator.
Her podcast on Māori health equity, Getting Better: A Year in the Life of a Māori Medical Student (RNZ/Bird of Paradise Productions) won the Voyager Best Narrative Podcast of the Year in 2021.
In 2020 she won the Opinion Writer of the Year at the Voyager media awards, and her work has featured at newsroom.co.nz, stuff.co.nz, the Guardian, the NZ Herald and in academic and literary journals and books.
Espiner lives in Auckland, where she works at Middlemore Hospital as a surgical registrar.
The memoir Theres a Cure for This is her first book.

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