A Times Best Non-fiction Book for Autumn 2022
"We are all driven by our fears and desires, and sometimes we are in thrall to them."
A captivating A-Z from the bestselling author of The Suspicions of Mr Whicher
Do you recoil in arachnophobic horror at the sight of a spider - or twitch with nomophobia when you misplace your mobile phone? Do your book-buying habits verge on bibliomania? Perhaps you find yourself mired in indecision and uncertainty? (Would it be reassuring to give this a name: aboulomania?)
Our phobias and manias are contradictory and multiple: deeply intimate, yet forged by the times we live in - the commonest form of anxiety disorder, but rarely given a formal diagnosis. Plunge into this rich, surprising and fascinating A-Z compendium to discover how our fixations have taken shape, from pre-history to the present day, as award-winning author Kate Summerscale deftly traces the threads between the past and present, the psychological and social, the personal and the political.
'I am sure this book will cause a 'mania' of its own. Thought-provoking and such fun' Ian Mortimer, bestselling author of The Time Traveller's Guides
Kate Summerscale is the author of the bestselling The Suspicions of Mr Whicher. Her first book, The Queen of Whale Cay, won a Somerset Maugham Award, and her latest book, The Haunting of Alma Fielding, was longlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction. She lives in North London.