The Midnight Disease by Alice Weaver Flaherty
The Drive to Write, Writer's Block, and the Creative Brain (.)

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What underlies the human ability, desire, and even compulsion to write? Alice Flaherty first explores the brain state called hypergraphia - the overwhelming desire to write - and the science behind its antithesis, writer's block. As a leading neurologist at a major research hospital, Flaherty writes from the front lines of brain research. Her voice, driven and surprisingly original, has its roots in her own experiences of hypergraphia, triggered by a postpartum mood disorder. Both qualifications lend power to Flaherty's riveting connection between the biology of human longing and the drive to communicate.
The Midnight Disease charts exciting new territory concerning the roles of mind and body in the creative process. Flaherty - whose engagement with her patients and lifelong passion for literature enrich each page - argues for the importance of emotion in writing, illuminates the role that mood disorders play in the lives of many writers, and explores with profound insight the experience of being "visited by the muse." Her understanding of the role of the brain's temporal lobes and limbic system in the drive to write challenges the popular idea that creativity emerges solely from the right side of the brain. Finally, The Midnight Disease casts lights on the methods and madness of writers past and present, from Dostoevsky to Conrad, from Sylvia Plath to Stephen King.
The Midnight Disease brings the very latest brain science to bear on the most compelling questions surrounding human creativity.

About Alice Weaver Flaherty

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A. W. Flaherty is a neurologist at Massachusetts General Hospital who also teaches at Harvard Medical School. She is the author of The Midnight Disease: The Drive to Write, Writers Block, and the Creative Brain. A. W. lives with her husband and twin daughters near Boston.
Published April 28, 2015 by Mariner Books. 307 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Education & Reference, Science & Math, Professional & Technical, Self Help. Non-fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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Where Sacks uses his stylistic gifts to transform illness into literature, Flaherty wrestles openly with the problem of equating them, putting her own identity as a scientist and as a writer on the line as she explores the possibility of describing writing in medical terms.

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Bookmarks Magazine

Flaherty's fascinating, wide-ranging discussion is punctuated by wonderful anecdotes about famous writers, eloquent passages of her own experiences and, to warn the scientifically challenged, some rather dense passages about the science of the brain."

Oct 29 2009 | Read Full Review of The Midnight Disease: The Dri...

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