Why is it that some writers struggle for months to come up with the perfect sentence or phrase while others, hunched over a keyboard deep into the night, seem unable to stop writing? In The Midnight Disease, neurologist Alice W. Flaherty explores the mysteries of literary creativity: the drive to write, what sparks it, and what extinguishes it. She draws on intriguing examples from medical case studies and from the lives of writers, from Franz Kafka to Anne Lamott, from Sylvia Plath to Stephen King. Flaherty, who herself has grappled with episodes of compulsive writing and block, also offers a compelling personal account of her own experiences with these conditions.
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, Writer’s Block, and the Creative Brain. A. W. lives with her husband and twin daughters near Boston.
"[Flaherty] is the real thing . . . and her writing magically transforms her own tragedies into something strange and whimsical almost, almost funny.
The Washington Post
"This is interesting, heated stuff." The San Francisco Chronicle
"Brilliant . . . [a] precious jewel of a book . . . that sparkles with some fresh insight or intriguing fact on practically every page." Seattle Post-Intelligencer —