Peter Dorward

Peter Dorward was born in St Andrews. After stints as a hop-picker, international aid-worker and pub musician, he now works as a GP and medical teacher in Edinburgh. His debut novel, Nightingale, won the inaugural Canongate Prize in 2000 and his first non-fiction work – The Human Kind – was published by Bloomsbury in 2018.

Peter Dorward is represented at Jenny Brown Associates by Jenny. For all enquiries contact

Books by Peter

The Human Kind: A Doctor’s Stories from the Heart of Medicine

Bloomsbury, May 2018 Every doctor is haunted by memories of difficult patients. People whom, despite all of their patience, persistence, the best communication, diagnostic and reasoning skills, they havent helped. And anyone who has been a patient will tell you about encounters with difficult doctors; of relationships freighted with mutual bafflement, hostility and pain. Despite its vast resources, medicine is so often destined to fail people. Written by a practising GP this book is told through stories of Dr Peter Dorwards hardest cases, including his worst failures (and a few triumphs), and range from the everyday to the tragic, grotesque and humorous. With these stories Peter Dorward explores the philosophical problems and contradictions entangled in the practice of medicine.


Two Ravens Press, August 2007 On the second of August 1980 at 1pm, a bomb placed under a chair in the second class waiting room of the international railway station in Bologna exploded, resulting in the deaths of eighty-five people. Despite indictments and arrests no convictions were ever secured. Exactly a year before the bombing a young British couple disembarked at the station and walked into town. He – pale-blue eyes, white collarless shirt, baggy green army surplus trousers with anarchy and peace written on the knees, a small, almost coffin shaped case with a brass handle in his left hand. Twenty yards behind him, the woman whom, in a year or two, he will marry, then eventually abandon, to almost everyone’s relief. He is Don, she Julia. Within twenty fours she’ll leave for home – with the rest of their money. He will wander into a bar called The Nightingale and meet a labyrinthine world of extreme politics and terrorism. More than twenty years later their daughter Rosie, as naïve as her father was before her, will return to the city. Both Don and his past will follow. Praise for The Nightingale Nightingale is a gripping and intelligent novel… Full of authentic detail and texture, it is written with clarity and precision. Peter Dorward tells this tragic story with huge confidence and verve Kate Pullinger Imagine Graeme Greene in ‘entertainment’ mode, without the Catholicism. Nightingale is literate, emotionally intelligent, humane, passionate – and a page-turning read. From its level of energy and accomplishment I sense there are plenty more novels in Peter Dorward. I greatly look forward to reading them Andrew Greig Winner of the Canongate Prize