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From the best-selling author of An Unquiet Mind; a study of the poet Robert Lowell, and of the relationship between illness and art.

In his Pulitzer Prize-winning poetry, Robert Lowell put his manic-depressive illness (now known as bipolar disorder) into the public domain, creating a new and arresting language for madness. Here Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison brings her expertise in mood disorders to bear on Lowell’s story, illuminating not only the relationships among mania, depression, and creativity but also the details of how Lowell’s illness and treatment influenced the great work that he produced (and often became its subject). Lowell’s New England roots, early breakdowns, marriages to three eminent writers, friendships with other poets such as Elizabeth Bishop, many hospitalizations, and vivid presence as both a teacher and a maker of poems are all explored, as Jamison gives us the poet’s life through a lens that focuses our understanding of his intense discipline, courage, and commitment to his art. Drawing upon a trove of new material and a psychologist’s deep insight, Robert Lowell, Setting the River on Firedelivers a bold, sympathetic account of a poet who was—both despite and because of mental illness—a passionate, original observer of the human condition.

Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9780307744616

    February 15, 2018

    Vintage USA

    560 pages

    RRP $29.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
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    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
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    • QBD
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    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • Hardback

    9780307700278

    March 15, 2017

    Doubleday US

    416 pages

    RRP $54.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

Also by Kay Redfield Jamison