The Rag and Bone Shop


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A leading psychiatrist shows how the mysteries of the brain are illuminated at the extremes of human experience.

About the Author

Veronica O'Keane is Professor of Psychiatry and practising consultant psychiatrist at Trinity College Dublin. The Rag and Bone Shop is her first trade book.


Vivid, unforgettable . . . a fascinating, instructive, wise and compassionate book . . . there is much for the reader to learn, but there is also a lot that is simply delightful. -- John Banville * Guardian *
Wonderful. I love the way Veronica writes . . . difficult concepts made comprehensible with rich case studies. A must read for every counsellor, psychotherapist, life coach and psychiatrist. -- Philippa Perry * author of The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read *
A ruminative yet well-evidenced investigation . . . Most remarkable, though, are her own, extraordinary personal encounters with patients - psychotics, depressives, amnesiacs - whose memories have in some way let them down. O'Keane's unsettling conclusion . . . will haunt you as much as her revealing and sometimes harrowing real-life stories * The Sunday Times, Books of the Year *
Fascinating . . . leaves you with a marvelling awareness of what humans collectively share as memory makers and reminds us that each one of us is a singular translator of our world. -- Kate Kellaway * Observer *
A wonderful book in which Veronica O'Keane distils what she has learned about people in her life as a psychiatrist and neuroscientist. The reader will appreciate Dr O'Keane's beautiful prose and her caring attitudes, and will effortlessly pick up knowledge about how the brain determines our behaviour. -- Robin Murray * Professor of Psychiatric Research at King's College London *
A roving, riverine inquiry into memory, experience, the brain...O'Keane does not try to dazzle us with interpretations and cures, but dazzle she does with the science, the clarity with which she can conjure something as ordinary, as bafflingly complex and beautiful, as a memory forming in the brain. . . O'Keane evokes a robin in her backyard with a vividness that would shame a good many novelists I've encountered this year -- Parul Seghal * New York Times *
O'Keane draws from her clinical experiences to offer a comprehensive tour of the current state of knowledge about how memory operates in the brain . . . what makes O'Keane's book engaging is how she incorporates references to literature and folklore -- Elizabeth Landau * Salon *
Searching, thoughtful . . . at once scientific, philosophical, medical and literary . . . rich, revelatory and, in the best way, unsettling. -- James McConnachie * Sunday Times *

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