31 Jul 15 14 Jun 21

Book Club

Do you want to learn more about Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)? Here are some great books you can read, ranging from personal accounts by our aid workers and reflections about humanitarian aid to illustrated books about the countries we work in. Many of the books were written by Canadians. Most of them can be found in libraries and book shops or you can order them from online book retailers.

You can also check out our Reads on the roads less travelled page,  with book recommendations from MSF Canada aidworkers. 

Healing Our World by David Morely

Healing our World

by David Morely

For seven years, David Morley served as executive director Doctors Without Borders Canada. His work took him to war-torn Congo and Sierra Leone, to earthquake-shattered villages in El Salvador, to refugee camps in Mozambique, to the homes of destitute AIDS patients in Zambia. At the end of each day in the field, David cracked open his journal and wrote about how the work was going, how the patients were doing, what the volunteers were seeing and feeling. At the heart of Healing Our World are excerpts from David’s journals and the voices of fieldworkers who come from all over the world and every walk of like – but who all share a passion for helping people suffering from war, disaster, disease and poverty.

Six Months in Sudan by James Maskalyk

Six Months in Sudan

By James Maskalyk

In 2007 Canadian James Maskalyk set out for the contested border town of Abyei, Sudan, as a doctor newly recruited by Doctors Without Borders. Equipped with his experience as an emergency physician in a downtown hospital in Toronto and drawn to the hardest parts of the world, Maskalyk spent his days treating malnourished children, coping with a measles epidemic and watching for war. Worn thin by the struggle to meet overwhelming needs with few resources, he returned home six months later more affected by the experience, the people and the place than he had anticipated.

Band Aid for a Broken Leg by Damien Brown

Band aid for a broken leg

By Damien Brown

Damien Brown, a young Australian doctor, thinks he's ready when he arrives for his first posting with Doctors Without Borders in Africa. But the town he's sent to is an isolated outpost of mud huts, surrounded by landmines; the hospital, for which he's to be the only doctor, is filled with malnourished children and conditions he's never seen; and the health workers—Angolan war veterans twice his age who speak no English—walk out on him following an altercation on his first shift. The medical calamities pile up—including a leopard attack, a landmine explosion, and having to perform surgery using tools cleaned on the fire—but it's through Damien's evolving friendships with the local people that his passion for the work grows. 

An Imperfect Offering: Humanitarian Action in the Twenty-First Century by James Orbinski

An imperfect offering: Humanitarian Action in the Twenty-first Century

By James Orbinski

An Imperfect Offering is a deeply personal, deeply political book. With unstinting candor, Canadian Dr. James Orbinski, the former president of Doctors Without Borders, explores the nature of humanitarian action in the twenty-first century, and asserts the fundamental imperative of seeing as human those whose political systems have most brutally failed. He insists that in responding to the suffering of others, we must never lose sight of the dignity of those being helped or deny them the right to act as agents in their own lives. He takes readers on a journey to some of the darkest places of our history but finds there unimaginable acts of courage and empathy. Here he is doctor as witness, recording voices that must be heard around the world; calling on others to meet their responsibility.

Hope in Hell by Dan Bortolotti

Hope in Hell

By Dan Bortolotti

Hope in Hell chronicles the raucous founding of Doctors Without Borders and the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to the organization. If there is a horrific event, Doctors Without Borders will be there. This book tells why and how.

Out of Somalia by Andrea Caprez and Christoph Schuler

Out of Somalia

By Andrea Caprez and Christoph Schuler

In late February 2011, cartoon illustrators and authors Andrea Caprez and Christoph Schuler travelled on behalf of Doctors Without Borders to the refugee camp in Dadaab, on the Kenya-Somalia border. Their illustrated story describes the work of Doctors Without Borders on the site and the difficult living conditions of Somali refugees in the world's largest refugee camp.

Download the comic book or read it online.

Burma Chronicles by Guy Delisle

Burma Chronicles

By Guy Delisle

Burma Chronicles is an autobiographical account of a family who stayed in Burma for one year. The author, Canadian Guy Delisle, is married to a Doctors Without Borders fieldworker and their family gets assigned to work in Burma for one year. While his wife makes trips into the less populated and underprivileged areas of the country, Guy is left back in the city with his very young son and too much time on his hands. He uses this time to do his cartooning, explore the city and get to know the culture a bit more.

Hila: Born in Afghanistan by Aurelie Neyret

Hila: Born in afghanistan

By Aurélie Neyret

In one hospital in Khost in eastern Afghanistan, not far from the Pakistani border, MSF midwives and doctors have helped bring more than 100,000 babies into this world. With more than 60 new little bundles of joy being born every day, Khost is not only MSF’s busiest maternity, but also one of the busiest maternity wards in the whole world. Inside, taking photographs and videos is extremely restricted for cultural reasons, but the stories of this special ‘women caring for women’ project deserve to be shared. So we sent Aurélie Neyret, an incredibly talented illustrator to spend nine days immersed with the team in Khost – observing, sketching, and gathering stories of patients, family members and MSF staff.