Scapho is Greek for boat

Featured in

  • Published 20040601
  • ISBN: 9780733314339
  • Extent: 268 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm)

WE HAVE PUSHED our way through the strong heat of Adelaide’s hottest summer since nineteen-o-something to get here, but there is nowhere to rest. We get to the door and are faced with a blur of faces: children and their parents. We see them shuffling so that we can squeeze in, sit next to each other on straight-backed chairs with seats of sagging wicker. And now we will wait. We will sit, just as the others are sitting, for as long as it takes. If we can just get in, everything will be OK.

This man, the surgeon we are waiting to see, has about him all the mysticism of a craniofacial sorcerer. Celebrities are thin on the ground in Adelaide, but this man is one and everyone knows of his work. For years, the television and the papers have given us regular stories about the children flown in from developing Asia, their heads and faces swollen and twisted, a surgical miracle performed, their lives transformed.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

If you are an educator or student wishing to access content for study purposes please contact us at

Share article

More from author

Fly in, fly far away

MemoirTHE ARGUMENT IN the car starts the way it always does. One brother’s arm is around the other’s shoulders, the two are wrestling, both...

More from this edition

Like a Christmas cake

FictionSHE WAKES IN darkness, shivering, a sudden chill on her back like the breath of a ghost. She lies still, eyes closed in a...

Mind, body and age

MemoirON THE DAY of my birth, Boxing Day, 1921, something seemed wrong in the small rented brick house in the lower-middle-class Sydney suburb of...

Stay up to date with the latest, news, articles and special offers from Griffith Review.