Wendy Moore

Liquid of Life

Nine Pints: A Journey Through the Mysterious, Miraculous World of Blood

By

Portobello Books 372pp £14.99 order from our bookshop

For Rose George, no subject is off limits. An award-winning British journalist and author, she has lifted the lid on toilets and human waste in her acclaimed book The Big Necessity, written on life as a refugee, and explored the hidden world of shipping.

Now George focuses her investigative spotlight on the subject of blood, not only looking at the history of blood transfusion and the science of blood products, but also confronting commonly unmentionable topics, such as menstruation, sanitary products and the menopause. Visiting women in Nepal who are ritually expected to sleep outside in unheated and unlit sheds for five days every month during their periods, she grapples with the literal concept of taboo: the term, she explains, probably derives from the Polynesian word tapua, for menstruation, or tabu, meaning apart.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'Englishmen Abroad in the Reign of Henry VIII'. Free lecture by Dr Susan Brigden, Thurs 18 Oct, 6.30pm Europe Hou… ,
    • It 'contains twists and near misses and bit-part players, everything you might expect from a true-crime story'. Ian… ,
    • Oh normally a week or two before the ceremony itself - so mid-November. ,
    • Ian Sansom reviews The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel That Scandalized the World by… ,
    • 'It is hard to think of an economist who could craft such an elegantly readable account of postwar failure as this.… ,
    • Frederick Forsyth reviews The Spy and the Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War by ,
    • . reviews What We Have Lost: The Dismantling of Great Britain by James Hamilton-Paterson ,