Sunday, September 27, 2009

Five best novels about mental disorders

Douwe Draaisma, the author of Disturbances of the Mind, teaches the theory and history of psychology at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands.

For the Wall Street Journal, he named a five best list of novels that focus on mental disorders. One novel on the list:
Enduring Love
by Ian McEwan
Doubleday, 1997

An idyllic opening scene in the English countryside quickly turns terrifying: Gusting winds drag a helium-filled balloon across fields with a small boy still in the basket, and five onlookers race to his aid. As they battle to hang on to the ropes in the roaring wind, Joe Rose—a science writer who had been picnicking with his wife—happens to meet the eye of Jed Parry, one of the rescuing strangers. In that instant, Jed is convinced that he and Joe are meant for each other. As Jed begins to stalk this man he'd never met before, we learn that Jed suffers from ClĂ©rambault's syndrome, the delusion that someone is secretly in love with you. Those affected by this condition—the cause of which is still unclear—may resort to ever more desperate measures to be with the object of their affection. Jed is no exception—and before long Joe is in mortal danger.
Read about another novel on the list.

Enduring Love also appears on John Mullan's lists of ten of the best examples of unrequited love in literature and ten of the best balloon flights in fiction.

--Marshal Zeringue