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Now Available: Kay Redfield Jamison talks Creativity, Mania, and Character

Kay Redfield Jamison’s is one of the world’s leading writers and educators on mental health. Her critically acclaimed new book, Robert Lowell, Setting the River on Fire, tells of two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Robert Lowell and his struggles with manic depression.

As Jamison traces the influence of diseases like bipolar illness on creativity, Lowell not only continued to write, but was able to produce innovative prose during his manic episodes. Or, as Lowell himself once put it, “Darkness honestly lived through is a place of wonder and life.”

“Intellectually thrilling,” wrote Michael Dirda of the Washington Post, “[Setting the River on Fire] achieves a magnificence and intensity that sets it apart.”

Jamison is a professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and a bestselling author. Her books, including An Unquiet Mind and Night Falls Fast, reveal her personal struggles with bipolar disorder. Inspired by her work, Director Paul Dalio dramatized his own battle with manic depression in Touched With Fire, a 2016 film starring Katie Holmes.

A MacArthur Genius-award recipient, Kay Redfield Jamison was chosen by TIME magazine as a “Hero of Medicine.” In her engaging lectures, Jamison grounds the clinical realities of depression in humanity, and discusses medical developments, empathy, and hope.