Hello and welcome back to You Wrote the Book, with Simon Savidge. Each fortnight Simon is joined by a special guest author to discuss their life as a writer and as a reader.
This episode Simon’s special guest is Dr. Suzanne O’Sullivan, whose first book It’s All In Your Head has just been crowned the winner of the Wellcome Book Prize. Pauline first became ill when she was fifteen. What seemed to be a urinary infection became joint pain, then life-threatening appendicitis. After a routine operation Pauline lost all the strength in her legs. Shortly afterwards, convulsions started. But Pauline’s tests are normal: her symptoms seem to have no physical cause whatsoever. This may be an extreme case, but Pauline is not alone. As many as a third of people visiting their GP have symptoms that are medically unexplained. In most, an emotional root is suspected which is often the last thing a patient wants to hear and a doctor to say. We accept our hearts can flutter with excitement and our brows can sweat with nerves, but on this journey into the very real world of psychosomatic illness, Suzanne O’Sullivan finds the secrets we are all capable of keeping from ourselves.
Simon had the pleasure of talking to Suzanne about It’s All In Your Head earlier this week. They talked about the book and how Suzanne went about writing it, the plight of those with psychosomatic illnesses and how people perceive them in society, the Wellcome Book Prize and much more.
Over the next few weeks and months Simon will be back with a whole host of authors including Charlotte Wood and Janet Ellis. In the meantime if you would like to suggest authors you think Simon should be getting on the show, or simply want to have a natter about books, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or find us on twitter @youwrotethebook.
If you want to hear Simon talking more books do join him every other week with Thomas Otto on The Readers Podcast, you can also find him chatting and reviewing book on his blog Savidge Reads. Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes where you can find previous episodes with Rose Tremain, Christos Tsiolkas, Evie Wyld, Armistead Maupin, Helen Macdonald, Hanya Yanagihara, Richard Flanagan, Jessie Burton, Michel Faber, Emily St John Mandel and many more.