A collection of essays about life as a doctor may seem niche and can only be appreciated by medical professionals. In Wilfredo Liangco’s debut novel Even Ducks Get Liver Cancer, he writes hilarious and heartbreaking essays that even laymen can appreciate.
Don’t take my word for it. Jessica Zafra, herself a noted writer, said, “in situations that elicit fear, rage, anxiety, or grief, Will sees humor. He is literally laughing in the face of death.” A friend of mine, a showbiz reporter, described it as “such a fun book!”
Even Ducks Get Liver Cancer is described as a candid and hysterical account of the travails of becoming a doctor. Liangco, an oncologist, writes about the sleepless nights, late stipends, and life-and-death decisions in the context of the Philippine healthcare system.
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Even the title is attention-grabbing. When asked about the story behind the title, Liangco explains that he was inspired by a line in one of his textbooks, about how liver cancer was so common in a small town in China that even ducks got them. When he and his colleagues would run out of things to say to patients whose cancer got worse, they would say, “well, you know, this is really what’s happening right now. In fact, in China, even ducks get liver cancer.”
The author joked, “of course, it was poor judgment on our part. Who would get comforted by the fact that in one small town in China, even ducks get liver cancer? Obviously, nobody.”
It’s this intriguing title and premise that has made Even Ducks Get Liver Cancer a success. The book is now on its second print run after copies sold out in bookstores, online stores, and events like the Manila International Book Fair.
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The reviews are promising, too.
Marjorie Evasco, the author of Dreamweavers, said, “the ludicrous, the grotesque, and the abject are striking elements in the pen of Dr. Will Liangco, whose 49 tales in this debut collection treat the gore of the medical profession with the comic relief of caricature.”
Alice M. Sun-Cua, MD, the author of Golden Kumquats in Trieste and Other Travel Tales, praised the book as “the ‘other side’ of a doctor’s life, and we commiserate with him in his human-ness, his foibles, and misadventures, all told in a voice that is so self-deprecating—one can’t help but empathize and be one with him.”
Geraldine Zamora, MD, an awardee of The Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service for Medicine in 2019, also said, “Will’s Even Ducks Get Liver Cancer will move you to hysterical fits—and tears.”
If you’re looking for a good read, we recommend Even Ducks Get Liver Cancer. Promise, you don’t need to be a medical professional to appreciate it.
Even Ducks Get Liver Cancer is available at milflorespublishing.com and Lazada.
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