What I’m Reading: Kay Redfield Jamison

Kay Redfield Jamison, author of Robert Lowell: Setting the River on Fire, shares three books she recommends.

Kay Redfield Jamison

Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison, the bestselling author of An Unquiet Mind, is known around the world for her work in the scientific study of mood disorders. The Dalio Family Professor in Mood Disorders, world-renowned professor of psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins, and honorary professor of English at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, brings her expertise in mood disorders to the story of Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Robert Lowell in her latest work: Robert Lowell: Setting the River on Fire.

Lowell put his manic-depressive illness (now known as bipolar disorder) into his poetry and therefore the public domain, creating a new and arresting language for madness. In her masterful study of the relationship between illness and art, Dr. Jamison illuminates not only the relationships between mania, depression, and creativity, but also how Lowell’s illness and treatment influenced his work (and often became its subject).

Dr. Jamison sat down with us to talk a little bit about books she’s been reading lately and what makes them interesting and inspiring.

Watch the video below to hear her recommendations!

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KAY REDFIELD JAMISON  is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Royal Society of Edinburgh and is a recipient of the Lewis Thomas Prize, the Sarnat International Prize in Mental Health from the National Academy of Medicine, and a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship. She is the author of the national best sellers An Unquiet Mind, Night Falls Fast, and Touched with Fire, and is the coauthor of the standard medical text on bipolar disorder, Manic-Depressive Illness: Bipolar Disorders and Recurrent Depression.