February Literary Lunch Hour

Wednesday, February 28, 2024 – 12-1pm ET – Online

Free Zoom Registration

Continuing this winter’s Literary Lunch Hour theme of the body in practice, Dr. Charles Hayter reads from and discusses his latest book, Cancer Confidential: Backstage Dramas in the Radiation Clinic (University of Toronto Press, 2022).

As a radiation oncologist, Dr. Hayter has long professional experience with patients and families dealing with cancer, stories he shares and considers with nuanced attention in his published work. But when his own father developed cancer, Dr. Hayter was thrust into a new and unfamiliar role as family caregiver. He was propelled on an unexpected journey of self-discovery as an out gay man, and changed forever by the experience.

At this interactive, community event, Dr. Hayter will lead a conversation and share insights on what happens when a health practitioner suddenly becomes the focus of care — an experience that many NBM Lab participants come to write about — and discuss how his background in theatre has informed his perspective on medicine and his writing style.


Charles Hayter is a Toronto-based physician, medical historian, author and award-winning playwright who identifies with the 2SLGBTQI+ community. Prior to medical school, he obtained an MA in Drama from the University of Calgary. He is a former Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology at the University of Toronto and President of the Canadian Society for the History of Medicine. His plays include Radical, inspired by the true story of Toronto’s Vera Peters and her quest to convince surgeons to abandon the radical mastectomy, and Lady-in-Waiting, about a drag queen with a secret life as a doctor, which won the award for best solo show at the Fresh Fruit Festival (NYC, 2008). Website

His latest book Cancer Confidential: Backstage Dramas in the Radiation Clinic (University of Toronto Press, 2022) is now available everywhere.