Summer Sale! Save 20% today and get access to all our member benefits.

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!

Support BookBrowse

Join our inner reading circle, go ad-free and get way more!

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: The Night of Baba Yaga
    The Night of Baba Yaga
    by Akira Otani, Sam Bett
    When Yoriko Shindo gets into a brawl on a busy street in 1970s Tokyo, she has no idea what the ...
  • Book Jacket: The Anthropologists
    The Anthropologists
    by Aysegül Savas
    A documentary filmmaker, Asya is interested in the "unremarkable grace" of daily life, "the slow and...
  • Book Jacket: Mood Swings
    Mood Swings
    by Frankie Barnet
    This book begins with a bombastic premise. Seemingly fed up with the heating planet, the world's ...
  • Book Jacket: The Ballad of Jacquotte Delahaye
    The Ballad of Jacquotte Delahaye
    by Briony Cameron
    Our titular heroine's story begins in Yáquimo, Santo Domingo. Jacquotte Delahaye is a young ...

BookBrowse Book Club

Book Jacket
The 1619 Project
by Nikole Hannah-Jones
An impactful expansion of groundbreaking journalism, The 1619 Project offers a revealing vision of America's past and present.
Who Said...

There is no science without fancy and no art without fact

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

L T C O of the B

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.