Tormented Hope is a book about mind and body, fear and hope, illness and imagination. It explores, in the stories of nine individuals, the relationship between mind and body as it is mediated by the experience, or simply the terror, of being ill. And in an intimate investigation of those nine lives, it shows how the mind can make a prison of the body, by distorting our sense of ourselves as physical beings. Brian Dillon, whose brilliant debut In the Dark Room established him as an uncommonly intelligent and fluent explorer of the realm where ideas and emotions overlap, looks at nine prominent hypochondriacs - James Boswell, Charlotte Brontë, Charles Darwin, Florence Nightingale, Daniel Paul Schreber, Alice James, Marcel Proust, Glenn Gould and Andy Warhol - and what their lives tell us about the way the mind works with, and against, the body. His findings are stimulating and surprising, and the stories he tells are often moving, sometimes hilarious, and always gripping.
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