Edinburgh GP wins top book prize

Gavin Francis book prize winner.Picture: Press Association
Gavin Francis book prize winner.Picture: Press Association
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An Edinburgh doctor has won the Scottish Book of the Year award for his personal account of working in an isolated research centre in Antarctica.

Gavin Francis collected the £30,000 prize at the Lennoxlove Book Festival for Empire Antarctica, which tells the story of his 14-month stay as the base-camp doctor at Halley on the Caird Coast of Antarctica.

It is described as “the story of one man and his fascination with the world’s loneliest continent, as well as the emperor penguins who weather the winter with him”.

The 38-year-old, who works part-time as a GP in the Capital, has written previous books about his travels and work overseas.

The award judges described Empire Antarctica as “travel writing at its very best”, adding that it combines an “evocative narrative with a sublime sensitivity to the natural world”.

Dr Francis said: “Winning an award like this, for any writer, is a tremendous endorsement of what it is that they’re trying to achieve.