Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Featured Non-Fiction: Sad, Mad, and Bad by Lisa Appignansi

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Featured Non-Fiction: Sad, Mad, and Bad by Lisa Appignansi

McArthur & Company, Fall 2007

About Sad, Mad, and Bad:
Sad, Mad, and Bad: Women and the Mind-Doctors from 1800 is the story of madness, badness and sadness, the ways in which we have understood them over the last two hundred years and conceive of them now. It is also the story of the professions who grew up to provide a growing array of treatments and the women patients who sometimes benefitted from their care, at others did not, even when it was women, themselves, who provided the therapy.

Frenzies, possessions, manias, melancholy, nerves, delusions, aberrant acts, dramatic tics, passionate loves and hates, sex, visual and auditory hallucinations, fears, phobias, fantasies, disturbances of sleep, dissociations, communication with spirits and imaginary friends, addictions, self-harm, self-starvation, depression are all characters in the story this book tells. So too are the Latinate and Greek designations they took on as diagnoses – monomania, melancholia, hysteria, dementia praecox, schizophrenia, anorexia - and their often casual, but scientizing shorthand today, MPD, ADHD, OCD.

In this fascinating history, Lisa Appignanesi brings to life a series of extraordinary women and their mind doctors. On the way she unravels how symptoms and diagnoses in any given period have often played into each other; and more and more of our emotions and experience have become a matter for medics, therapists and drugs.

About the author:
Lisa Appignanesi was born in Poland and grew up in France and Canada. A novelist and writer, she is a former Director of the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London and is Deputy President of English PEN. She is the author (with John Forrester) of the classic study, Freud’s Women, and of many bestselling novels, including The Memory Man. She has been made a