In this autobiography Lino Cutajar, an established and experienced surgeon, describes in simple narrative the spellbinding progress in the fields of medicine and surgery which he experienced at first hand. However he delves much deeper, describing the salient events of the times, making these memoirs a valuable social history reference source.
In gripping narrative he recounts his life story against the evolving social, cultural and historical developments in which he was caught up: his childhood in wartime Sliema, his education at the Lyceum and University of Malta Medical School , his marriage to Irene (née Cassar), the tough London years, training as a surgeon and starting a family. He gives a detailed account of life in England in the “Swinging Sixties” as well as the momentous years of half a decade of Maltese political developments which he, his family and friends lived through.
The author devotes a number of chapters to his Middle East sojourn with vivid descriptions of life in the Arabian Desert, the Red Sea and, surprisingly, the fantastic scenery of the Asir mountains. He also recollects with pleasure the many interesting personalities he has met, both socially and in the medical sphere. Very revealing are the close encounters he had with Dom Mintoff, who was his patient, with the famous desert explorer, Wilfred Thesiger, and many others. Towards the end of the book the author for once lets his ego loose to indulge in some personal reflections.
The author muses on the fact that in his lifetime he often had to face uncharted waters and unplanned situations which would bear heavily on his future and which required quick but considered decisions. The tendency to find himself in at the deep end of events suggested the title of these memoirs.
“In at the Deep End is a gripping, enjoyable narrative, informative, educational, entertaining and moving, with touches of humour, curious anecdotes, a sens of nostalgia but also of immense satisfaction at having lived a full life” – Laurence Grach (journalist and editor)
“A grippiing ‘historical’ autobiography…What he lived through resonates in time, place and circumstance” – Henry Frendo (historian).