Vancouver-based physician Gabor Maté received the Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize in 2009 for In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction (Knopf 2008)

While contributing to the Globe and Mail and working in psychotherapy, Gabor Maté first wrote the non-fiction bestsellers, When the Body Says No and Scattered Minds: A New Look at the Origins and Healing of Attention Deficit Disorder. Both consider how emotions can contribute to chronic illness. Scattered Minds was transformed into an unabridged audiobook (West Voice Audioworks 2010) by Colin Pickell of Ladysmith.

Quitting his private practice in order to work with people who are dealing with addictions, AIDS and serious social problems, Maté became a staff physician at the Portland Clinic in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, home to North America's first supervised injection site.

For his third book, Maté co-authored Hold On To Your Kids: Parents Do Matter (Knopf 2003) with clinical psychologist Gordon Neufeld. It warns against the phenomenon whereby peers can replace parents in the lives of children, often undermining family cohesion.

In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts (Knopf 2008) looks at the addictions of his patients while casting a critical eye on his own addictive passion for buying classical music. He reveals how addictions invariably arise from, or compensate for, emotional traumas, whether the addict drives a BMW or resorts to criminal behaviour to survive on the street.

In the world of drug abuse in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, he notes, "there is no chimera of redemption nor any expectation of socially acceptable outcomes, only an unsentimental recognition of the real needs of human beings in the dingy present, based on a uniformly tragic past."

BOOKS:

Scattered Minds: A New Look at the Origins and Healing of Attention Deficit Disorder (Knopf 1999)
When the Body Says No (Knopf 2003)
Hold On To Your Kids: Parents Do Matter (Knopf 2004). Co-authored with Gordon Neufeld.
In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction (Knopf 2008)

ALSO:

Contributed the foreword to Hidden Lives: Coming Out on Mental Illness (Brindle & Glass, 2012) with Lenore Rowntree and Andrew Boden. $24.95 978-1-926972-96-1

PHOTO by LAURA SAWCHUK

[BCBW 2012] "Health" "Downtown Eastside"