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About the book
  • Published: 26 February 2014
  • ISBN: 9780143571391
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 272
  • RRP: $19.99
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Madness: a Memoir




I've lived with acute psychosis and depression for the best part of twenty years. This is the story of my journey from chaos to balance, and from limbo to meaning.

Winner of the Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature 2014 nonfiction prize.
Shortlisted for the Queensland Literary Awards 2013 nonfiction prize.

It's not every day you get to admit you're mad.

The thing with psychosis is that when I'm sick I believe the delusional stuff to the same degree that you might know the sky is above and the earth below. And if someone were to say to me that the delusional thinking is, in fact, delusional, well that's the same as if I assure you now that we walk on the sky. Of course you wouldn't believe me, and that's why it's sometimes so hard for people who are sick like this to know that they need treatment. Psychosis and severe depression have a huge effect on how you relate to other people and how you see the world. It's a bit like being in a vacuum, or behind a wall of really thick glass . . . you lose any sense of connectedness. You're cast adrift from everyone and everything that matters.

I've lived with acute psychosis and depression for the best part of twenty years. This is the story of my journey from chaos to balance, and from limbo to meaning.

Kate Richards is a trained doctor currently working in medical research.

'Demands to be read' Sunday Age

'Heart wrenching, mind bending' Daily Telegraph

'Astonishing' Herald Sun

'A mysteriously beautiful book' Michael McGirr, The Age

'Powerhouse prose . . . a must-read.' The Mercury

'A gifted writer and storyteller' Courier-Mail

  • Pub date: 26 February 2014
  • ISBN: 9780143571391
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 272
  • RRP: $19.99

About the Author

Kate Richards

Kate Richards is a writer of fiction, narrative nonfiction and poetry. She has a medical degree with honours and works part-time in medical research in Melbourne. Kate is the author of the critically acclaimed Madness: a memoir and the Penguin Special Is there no place for me?

Also by Kate Richards

See all

Praise for Madness: a Memoir

“Demands to be read.”

Sunday Age

“Heart wrenching, mind bending.”

Daily Telegraph

“A mysteriously beautiful book.”

Michael McGirr, The Age

“A gifted writer and storyteller.”

Courier-Mail

“Astonishing.”

Herald Sun

“Powerhouse prose ... a must-read.”

The Mercury

“A stunning story.”

The Advertiser

“Gripping, honest.”

The AU Review


Awards & Recognition

  • Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature

    Winner • 2014 • Non-Fiction

  • Dobbie Literary Award

    Winner • 2014 • Best First Book

  • Australian Book Industry Awards

    Shortlisted • 2014 • Biography of the Year


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