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"Diabetes is not an “en vogue” disease.

It is not the kind of disease that gets a huge product campaign like breast cancer, nor is it portrayed as tragic and other worldly diseases like the AIDS epidemic in Africa.  The public perception of diabetes is the polar opposite of the causes the media likes to promote.  Instead of being seen as victims of illness, those millions living with diabetes are often seen as being lazy and unwilling to control their disease with a “simple” diet and exercise regimen.  Paul Cathcart’s memoir stands to change that. 

In writing “Persona Non Grata with Diabetes,” Cathcart opens the door a crack to shed some light on what it means to live with the disease.  Beginning in the present, Cathcart starts at the end of his story, after years of testing, quick fixes, health scares, and doctor’s visits failed to manage his illness.  But more than managing his illness, Cathcart seeks to the make others understand what it means to live with diabetes and see that it is a “state-of-being” as much as it is a physical problem, something those of us not conflicted with the illness fail to see. 

With a quick wit and a sharp tongue, Cathcart weaves in and out of time to create a portrait of a young man trying to make it through life with the threat of his poor health looming in the background. He describes his childhood in Glasgow, Scotland growing up in a working class family with a single mom, who creates the picture that diabetes can and does happen to “normal,” everyday people.  People that you went to school with, the first boy you kissed, or that friend with the great taste in music.  The author has such a clear ear for dialogue and language that the reader can almost hear the words coming off of the page particularly when he describes his condition as “dying faster than I’m living.” 

Throughout the memoir, Cathcart italicizes food items and restaurants such as “Rolo Ice Cream” and “Starbucks,” a technique used to signal the reader of how pervasive and accessible junk food is in Western culture.  Seeing so many italicized words on the page is a frequent reminder to the reader of how hard it must be to be constantly reminded of everything you aren’t supposed to have as a healthy, fit person.  For those of us not living with diabetes, it’s easy to take indulging in junk food for granted but it’s not life and death serious as it can be for a diabetic. 

With the descriptions of his health scares and their adverse affect on his life, it would be easy to take Cathcart’s memoir as a sob story.  But in-between the all too real descriptions of his illness, Cathcart keeps his humor and welcomes readers, both diabetic and non-diabetic, with the understanding that you don’t have to face life’s struggles alone.   This book makes for an especially good read for those struggling with the sickness but it also serves as a good educational piece for those without."

Tiffany Ezuma, Pacific Book Review, 27 November 2013





"Through the course of ten years in the publishing industry,

it is rare to pick up a manuscript that one can instantly relate to while yearning for more and Paul Cathcart has accomplished this feat in Persona non grata with Diabetes. Whether you suffer from the consequences of diabetes or enjoy reading, this self portrait will engulf and consume you as this writer expounds on a life complicated with diabetes along with the trials and tribulations of everyday life while facing his disease. A real day to day view of a diabetic’s real world life from Paul’s personal perspective sheds light in this must read narrative. This book is not only for diabetics but for the whole world. A true must read."

Derek Raulerson, 22 October 2013


“Cathcart’s ‘Persona non grata with diabetes’

is an engrossing and hard-hitting honest account of life as a diabetic, aiming - as the author himself asserts - to cut out the impersonal medical spiel and confront the everyday truths of it all head-on.

Cathcart writes his memoirs with a compellingly blunt hand, and every frustration, every fear is palpable in a way that makes this book a truly sympathetic and invaluable read for fellow sufferers seeking the show of solidarity that the author so determinedly sets out to deliver. This is a brilliantly written and deeply insightful look at life as a diabetic from a candid first hand source.”

Board of Editors, 'Austin Macauley Publishers Ltd'







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