Hemingway's Brain is an innovative biography and the first forensic psychiatric examination of Nobel Prize-winning author Ernest Hemingway. After committing 17 years to researching Hemingway's life and medical history, Andrew Farah, a forensic psychiatrist, has concluded that the writer's diagnoses were incorrect. Contrary to the commonly accepted diagnoses of bipolar disorder and alcoholism, Farah provides a comprehensive explanation of the medical conditions that led to Hemingway's suicide.
Hemingway received state-of-the-art psychiatric treatment at one of the nation's finest medical institutes, but according to Farah, it was for the incorrect diagnosis. Hemingway's death was not the result of medical mismanagement, but medical misunderstanding.
Farah argues that, despite popular mythology, Hemingway was not a manic-depressive, and his alcohol abuse and characteristic narcissism were simply pieces of a much larger puzzle. Using a thorough examination of biographies, letters, memoirs of friends and family, and even Hemingway's FBI file, combined with recent insights on the lasting effects of concussions and traumatic brain injury, Farah pieces together this compelling, alternative narrative of Hemingway's illness, one that has been missing from the scholarship for too long.
Though Hemingway's life has been researched extensively and many biographies written, authors relied on the original diagnoses or turned to psychoanalysis and conjecture regarding Hemingway's mental state. Farah explains why Hemingway's decline accelerated after two courses of electroconvulsive therapy, and explains which current options might benefit a similar patient today. Hemingway's Brain provides a full and accurate accounting of the psychiatric diagnoses by exploring the genetic influences, traumatic brain injuries, and neurological and psychological stressors that killed America's greatest writer.
Explore why critics call it "the most original and important biography to date".
©2017 USC Press (P)2017 Andrew Farah MD