The Collected Schizophrenias with Esmé Weijun Wang
June 27, 2019 @ 19:00 - 21:00 BST£5
Join us as we welcome Esmé Weijun Wang to read from and discuss her celebrated new essay collection, THE COLLECTED SCHIZOPHRENIAS, with Sharlene Teo.
Esmé Weijun Wang was officially diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder in 2013, although the hallucinations and psychotic episodes had started years before that. In the midst of a high functioning life at Yale, Stanford and the literary world, she would find herself floored by an overwhelming terror that 'spread like blood', or convinced that she was dead, or that her friends were robots, or spiders were eating holes in her brain. What happens when your whole conception of yourself is turned upside down? When you're aware of what is occurring to you, but unable to do anything about it?
Written with immediacy and unflinching honesty, this visceral and moving book is Wang's story, as she steps both inside and outside of her condition to bring it to light. Following her own diagnosis and the many manifestations of schizophrenia in her life, she ranges over everything from how we label mental illness to her own use of fashion and make-up to present herself as high-functioning, from the failures of the higher education system to how factors such as PTSD and Lyme disease compounded her experiences. Wang's analytical, intelligent eye, honed as a former lab researcher at Stanford, allows her to balance research with haunting personal narrative. THE COLLECTED SCHIZOPHRENIAS cuts right to the core and provides unique insight into a condition long misdiagnosed and much misunderstood.
Esmé Weijun Wang is a novelist and essayist. She is the author of the New York Times-bestselling essay collection, THE COLLECTED SCHIZOPHRENIAS (2019), for which she won the Graywolf Nonfiction Prize. Her debut novel, THE BORDER OF PARADISE, was called a Best Book of 2016 by NPR and one of the 25 Best Novels of 2016 by Electric Literature. She was named by Granta as one of the “Best of Young American Novelists” in 2017 and won the Whiting Award in 2018. Born in the Midwest to Taiwanese parents, she lives in San Francisco.
Sharlene Teo was born in Singapore in 1987. In 2016, she won the inaugural Deborah Rogers Writer’s Award for PONTI, her first novel. She has an LLB in Law from the University of Warwick and an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia, where she received the Booker Prize Foundation Scholarship and the David TK Wong Creative Writing award. She holds fellowships from the Elizabeth Kostova Foundation and the University of Iowa International Writing Program.