The Case for Love

A. K. Benjamin


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Vintage Publishing
1 July 2021
ISBN: 9781847926197
176 pages

From the publisher

An exhilarating journey into the unfathomable depths of the human mind, from the acclaimed author of Let Me Not Be Mad.

What does it take to care for a stranger? Really care.

The Case for Love is a reflection on a career treating patients with brain trauma - people whose thoughts and feelings are largely unknowable - and how and why those treatments failed.

It is a reconstruction of three haunting cases in which the patients were tragically misunderstood - and an attempt through the power of the imagination to understand and make amends.

It then describes the author's abandonment of his career and his tumultuous quest for healing and redemption.

It is also a story of intimate relationships, pets, fatherhood and heartbreak, culminating in a moment of psychedelic transcendence and rebirth.

It is about the overpowering need for connection - and how, increasingly, we are trapped in ourselves.

It is a meditation on empathy and an act of atonement.

It is a unique, hybrid work of clinical case study and pure invention that destroys the boundary between fact and fiction in order to bring us face-to-face with the shocking, liberating truth.


Praise for Let Me Not Be Mad

'Imagine a gonzo Oliver Sacks communing with Edward St Aubyn's Patrick Melrose, R.D. Laing and the spirit of Kafka's 'The Country Doctor', and you still won't quite have the flavour of this wild and strikingly original book' William Fiennes

'Stunning: clever, troubling, restless, honest, dishonest; one of the best portraits of madness and clinical practice I've read' Olivia Laing

'A perfectly extraordinary - not to mention extraordinarily perfect - tense Hitchcockian psychodrama. I have rarely read a more haunting and enthralling account of a descent into madness. An important, profound and fascinating book' Stephen Fry

'Blackly comic, warmly compassionate, a unique take on the human mind offering uncomfortable universal truths' Stewart Lee

'A slow-burn belter of a book ... terrific ... so finely described, the result has the terse force of a classic short story' Roddy Doyle

'Exhilarating ... dazzling ... a miraculous feat' Guardian