04 July 2013: My Days in the Sun

Lucidly written, Dr. Soo tells his story simply and with deep sincerity. With much pleasure, I commend it to everyone. – Wang Gungwu

FA-My Days in the Sun_CoverIn My Days in the Sun, a distinguished radiologist presents a candid self-portrait of his first 40 years. Mark Y.S. Soo was born in 1933 into a Cantonese family who divided their time between business interests in Malaya and Hong Kong. As a precocious child, Mark was an eyewitness to the Battle of Kampar, the Japanese occupation of Malaya and the post-war trauma of the late 1940s. A graduate of Hong Kong University in 1957 and the Lysholm Department of Radiology in London in 1967, Mark Soo reflects on his intimate acquaintance with mentoring surgeons, eminent professors and pioneering radiologists, and offers privileged glimpses of the work practices in prestigious teaching hospitals in four different countries.

days-2The humanistic philosophy of the Chinese sage Mencius, memorized at a young age under his grandmother’s watchful eye, made him a compulsively ethical practitioner in a moneyed profession. Ever the keen observer of life’s subtleties, Mark recounts many of the lessons he learnt, both moral and practical, during his time as a young medic in the Colony’s hospitals, a struggling general practitioner in Ipoh, a mature student of radiology in London and the first Asian Head of Radiology at University Hospital, Kuala Lumpur, just before the riots of 13 May 1969. Married with four children, Mark moved to Australia in 1971, where he still resides. From his traditional Chinese upbringing to his embrace of modern life as an immigrant of Australia, Mark Soo’s memoir conveys the sense and sensibility of an overseas Chinese who has lived in interesting times and memorable places.