Fat, Fame and Life with Father - Deirdre Barnard

Time of article published Dec 10, 2003

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Fat, Fame and Life with Father

by Deirdre Barnard

Double Storey R150

If you want to know more about Dr Christiaan Barnard and how fame affected his life and his family, you won't get it here. His daughter Deirdre treats this "autobiography" more as a tribute to her father than anything else.

There are no juicy details on how she felt when he married someone her own age; there is only her acclaiming throughout how much she loved him. Even if she loved Barbara (his second wife, only a few months older than herself) or Karin (his third very young wife, about whom she does not go into any detail), surely there must have been some hard feelings at first.

This is the most revelatory item that Deirdre writes about Karin and her dad: "When my father told me that he intended formalising his relationship with Karin, I was glad that he would be given the chance of being happy again. This is what I told him. I was grateful to Karin for loving him and accepting his proposal of marriage. I told him this too. I meant every word of it then and I mean it still."

Deirdre goes on about how wonderful she herself is, befriending all society, how wonderful her father was, and how wonderful everyone is. Not to say that this is not true, but come on, there has to be some skinner (gossip). She does have a flair for writing and one reads the whole book hoping to find that skinner.

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