Susannah Cahalan biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Read-Alikes

Susannah Cahalan

Susannah Cahalan

How to pronounce Susannah Cahalan: Cuh-HAY-lan

Susannah Cahalan Biography

Susannah Cahalan is the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness, a memoir about her struggle with a rare autoimmune disease of the brain. She writes for the New York Post. Her work has also been featured in the New York Times, Scientific American Magazine, Glamour, Psychology Today, and other publications. She lives in Brooklyn.

Susannah Cahalan's website

This bio was last updated on 12/09/2019. In a perfect world, we would like to keep all of BookBrowse's biographies up to date, but with many thousands of lives to keep track of it's simply impossible to do. So, if the date of this bio is not recent, you may wish to do an internet search for a more current source, such as the author's website or social media presence. If you are the author or publisher and would like us to update this biography, send the complete text and we will replace the old with the new.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Interview

Susannah Cahalan discusses her latest book, The Great Pretender, and what she hopes people will learn from reading it.

What drew you to this topic? Did you go looking for such an explosive story, or was it luck?
It started from a highly personal place. When I first read David Rosenhan's study, his experience with depersonalization and labeling rang so true to my own experience. But chancing upon that explosive story (as you describe it!) was total luck. When I was writing the book, I didn't see these issues as a positive thing for the narrative—I worried that this book was done with!

Why do you feel it is important or urgent for readers to be discussing Rosenhan and his work?
Even though Rosenhan's study is now almost fifty years old, so many of the questions that he raises in it—how to distinguish "sanity" from "insanity," how to treat serious mental illness, the role of context in diagnosis—have remained with us. Rosenhan's study crystalizes the importance of asking these questions and the importance of being honest and open about the limitations in answering them.

What was your favorite part of researching the book? Of writing it? What was the biggest surprise?
I had such a joyous time writing this book—mostly because of the extraordinary people I met—among them David's close friend and confidant Florence ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Books by this Author

Books by Susannah Cahalan at BookBrowse
The Great Pretender jacket Brain on Fire jacket
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Read-Alikes

All the books below are recommended as read-alikes for Susannah Cahalan but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose read-alikes

  • Edward Bullmore

    Edward Bullmore

    Prof Edward Bullmore, MB PhD FRCP FRCPsych FMedSci, trained in medicine at the University of Oxford and St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, London; then in psychiatry at the Bethlem Royal & Maudsley Hospital, London. He moved ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Great Pretender

    Try:
    The Inflamed Mind
    by Edward Bullmore

  • Charlie English

    Charlie English

    Charlie English is a former journalist for the Guardian, where he held several positions including arts editor and head of international news. A fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and the author of two previous books, ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Great Pretender

    Try:
    The Gallery of Miracles and Madness
    by Charlie English

We recommend 5 similar authors

View all 5 Read-Alikes

Non-members can see 2 results. Become a member
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Become a Member

Join BookBrowse today to start discovering exceptional books!

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: Daughter in Exile
    Daughter in Exile
    by Bisi Adjapon
    In Bisi Adjapon's Daughter in Exile, main character Lola is a Ghanaian who lands in New York City in...
  • Book Jacket
    The Correspondents
    by Judith Mackrell
    In the introduction to The Correspondents, author Judith Mackrell points out that although there had...
  • Book Jacket: Exiles
    Exiles
    by Jane Harper
    Our First Impressions readers were thrilled to return to the world of Jane Harper's protagonist ...
  • Book Jacket: Spice Road
    Spice Road
    by Maiya Ibrahim
    Imani is a Shield, a warrior who is renowned for her fighting abilities and for her iron dagger, ...

Book Club Discussion

Book Jacket
The Nurse's Secret
by Amanda Skenandore
A fascinating historical novel based on the little-known story of America's first nursing school.

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Mostly True Story of Tanner & Louise
    by Colleen Oakley

    A “wildly surprising, entertaining ride of a novel.”
    —Jodi Picoult

  • Book Jacket

    The Last Russian Doll
    by Kristen Loesch

    A haunting epic of betrayal, revenge, and redemption following three generations of Russian women.

Win This Book
Win Last House Before the Mountain

Last House Before the Mountain by Monika Helfer

A spellbinding, internationally bestselling family saga set in a fractured rural village in WWI Austria.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

R Peter T P P

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.