Author Talk with Anne Pettigrew - Not The Life Imagined

Dr. Hamish Thompson Resident Director


March 2, 2023

This month is International Women’s Month with March 8th being celebrated globally as International Women’s Day. The Arcadia Center Book Club and Author Talk this semester focused on a novel and an author whose fiction (especially this semester’s selection) centers on the issue of women’s rights. 

Dr Anne Pettigrew was a General Practitioner (medical doctor)  for over 40 years in the West of Scotland and has lately turned to fiction writing, often drawing on her experiences as a medical student and a doctor in the National Health Service. The book we selected for discussion was Not The Life Imagined which explores a mystery around a group of students studying medicine at The University of Glasgow. It also examines specifically how gender and societies and individuals’ attitude to gender so influenced their lives. 

Anne in her talk introduces the issue of medical ethics and how any young person considering a career in medicine might start to think about some of these issues. Aside from the exciting thriller that develops around the main character in the novel, the book also explores what life was like in Scotland in the 60s and general attitudes to reproductive health care and the impact on the mental health and lives of young female students trying to progress in a deeply misogynistic society where access to certain reproductive healthcare and services was illegal and men dominated positions of authority. We still have much to learn. . . .Many thanks to Anne for coming to speak with the students!