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Fires in the Dark by Kay Redfield Jamison
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Fires in the Dark

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Fires in the Dark by Kay Redfield Jamison
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May 23, 2023 | ISBN 9780593740439 | 478 Minutes

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  • May 23, 2023 | ISBN 9780525657170

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“The desperate, uncertain, even heroic attempt to heal is at the center of Jamison’s new book . . . It is a kaleidoscopic vision of treatment and recovery that reflects her own passionately varied intellectual life. One through-line in her book is the constant nearness of loss, of pain, of suffering . . . But most of all, her work is replete with the kindnesses she has encountered in her long experience struggling with, and thinking about, mental illness.” The New York Times 

“Jamison is a beautiful writer with a vast store of knowledge . . . Her book contains a blueprint for finding a way out of darkness—a great gift for anyone who sometimes struggles to overcome psychic pain.” The Washington Post

“Psychologist Jamison (The Unquiet Mind) brings personal and professional insight to this rigorous , deeply felt meditation on psychological healing….An eloquent, wide-ranging, and edifying look at healing relationships of all kinds.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“A humane, elegantly written contribution to the literature of trauma and care . . . Jamison opens with a graceful portrait of Sir William Osler (1849-1919), the medical pioneer recognized by American doctors a century later as “the most influential physician in history . . . [and] moves on to a consideration of the ancient connections of healing, ritual, and magic, some of which come into play in modern therapy. Along the way, while looking further at stress- and trauma-borne illness, the author studs her narrative with luminous figures such as Paul Robeson and Robert Graves.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Jamison, the exquisite chronicler of her own unquiet mind, reflects on the process—and adventure—of healing in this beautiful cultural, historical, and creative exploration of what makes us whole. She introduces us to the groundbreaking work of World War I physicians working with shell-shocked soldiers; delves into public grieving; and brings in the mythic patterns and imaginative literature we need as touchstones for relief. Jamison’s elegant prose, imbued with personal warmth and deep humanity, is itself a solace, lighting the way on the path that leads us to a more peaceful present and imaginative future.” —Lori Gottlieb, New York Times bestselling author of Maybe You Should Talk To Someone and co-host of the “Dear Therapists” podcast
“Like all of Kay Redfield Jamison’s books, Fires in the Dark is a wonderful blend of rigorous scholarship and intimate address. As she tracks the history of American (and, specifically, Baltimorean) medicine through the First World War, explores the relationship between war poets and early healers of the mind, then explores their influence and effect in wider as well as more personal settings, she creates a history of healing, which is at once thrilling in its scope and deeply touching in its particular details.” —Andrew Motion, Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom, 1999–2009
“Kay Redfield Jamison has been a singular voice blending lived experience, science, and poetry to help us fathom the depths and heights of mental illness. In Fires in the Dark, she guides us through the mystery of healing, exploring psychotherapy from its ancient roots to its refinement during the First World War, linking healing to art, suffering, and courage. She once again brings together the wisdom of experience, compelling narrative, and poetic insights to reveal what it takes to heal the mind. She calls this book an ‘archipelago of thoughts, experiences, and images.’ For anyone interested in healing, it is a string of islands not to be missed.” —Thomas Insel, MD, author of Healing and former director of the National Institute of Mental Health

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