I’m taking the liberty of reprinting the book-tour schedule sent to me and others this morning by my friend Susannah Cahalan. You may recall Susannah’s stunning 2012 memoir Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness, in which she chronicled her own descent into what appeared to be severe mental illness until she was rescued by a brilliant doctor who recognized it as a rare autoimmune disease of the brain. The 2016 film adaptation starred Chloe Grace Moretz as Cahalan.
Susannah’s new book, The Great Pretender: The Undercover Mission that Changed Our Understanding of Madness, builds upon the skills and awareness that she developed compiling her first book; yet its range of inquiry and analysis is of a different magnitude.
In the 1970s, David Rosenhan sent seven volunteers into various psychiatric asylums around the country to test the validity of the doctors’ diagnoses and conclusions. The results shattered existing opinions of psychiatry and led to the closing of several hospitals. In this masterpiece of dogged, almost incomprehensibly persistent intellectual detective-work and sustained reasoning, Cahalan has exposed the flaws, the deceptions and the distorted understandings that found their way into society on the ballast of Rosenthal’s influence. The book is destined to become a standard of its genre and a daunting model for immersive journalism.
Here is Susan Cahalan’s tour schedule:
NOVEMBER 5 – MANHATTAN
Barnes & Noble — Upper East Side in conversation with the marvelous Melissa Dahl, science editor and author of Cringeworthy, a book I LOVE.
NOVEMBER 6 – BROOKLYN
Books are Magic with the loves of my life, fellow Sob Sisters Ada Calhoun and Karen Abbott, brilliant authors of many amazing books, which you all should read.
NOVEMBER 7 – BALTIMORE (area)
Carroll Lutheran Village— sponsored by A Likely Story Bookstore
NOVEMBER 8 – BOSTON
Brookline Booksmith – sign up here
NOVEMBER 12- ST. LOUIS
ZACK — sponsored by Left Bank Books
in conversation with the legendary St. Louis Post Dispatch columnist Bill McClellan.
NOVEMBER 13 – MINNEAPOLIS
Magers & Quinn — sign up here The Great Pretender‘s own “footnote” will be making a special appearance….(earlier in the day I will be doing a talk at the University of Minneapolis, email me for details).
NOVEMBER 15: TIVOLI, NY
Upstairs at Murray’s Literary Series – Oblong Books.
NOVEMBER 18 – SEATTLE
Town Hall Seattle Science Series – sign up on Facebook here.
NOVEMBER 19 – PORTLAND
Powell’s City of Books – sign up on Facebook here.
NOVEMBER 20 – MENLO PARK, CA
Kepler’s Books — sign up here in conversation with Dr. Shaili Jain, psychiatrist and author of the beautiful book about trauma and PTSD The Unspeakable Mind.
NOVEMBER 21 – SAN FRANCISCO
Commonwealth Club – more details in conversation with the inimitable Judge LaDoris Cordell, pioneer, advocate, musician, artist, writer, and friend.
NOVEMBER 23 – MIAMI
Miami Book Festival In conversation with bestselling author/therapist/dynamo Lori Gottlieb, author of Maybe You Should Talk to Someone.
Moderated by psychiatrist Dr. Harold Schwartz
JANUARY 27 – MANHATTAN
New York Public Library — details to come!
In conversation with journalist/author Luke Dittrich, author of one of my favorite non-fiction titles ever Patient HM.