London’s International Festival of Arts and Ideas

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Lisa Appignanesi


Lisa Appignanesi is a prize-winning writer, novelist and cultural commentator.  Her non-fiction includes All About Love: Anatomy of an Unruly Emotion; Mad, Bad and Sad: A History of the Mind Doctors from 1800; and a biography of Simone de Beauvoir. She has written nine novels, most recently The Memory Man. She is one of the editors of the forthcoming book from Virago, Fifty Shades of Feminism.

Upcoming Events

Past Events


Stack of Books

Natalie Haynes holds the floor discussing the business of book prizes.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Book prizes are almost as commonplace as book festivals. Shortlisted authors enjoy exposure and prestige and the winner tops it all with a substantial reward. But how are decisions actually reached? This event brings together literary award judges to disclose the inner secrets of book prize panels. Lisa AppignanesiNatalie HaynesSam Leith and Erica Wagner will be held in check by neuroscientist Daniel Glaser, himself a judge of the 2014 Man Booker prize.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Caroline Pick’s Home Movie is a beautifully constructed film capturing the previously veiled story of her parents’ lives in 1930s Czechoslovakia and her own childhood in 1950s Britain. An artist, film-maker and former commissioning editor at the BBC, Caroline’s editing skills have shaped a powerful testimony to a lost world. She will be talking with Lisa Appignanesi about family secrets and the relationship between past and present.

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Lisa Appignanesi, Stephen Frosh, Eva Hoffman and John Launer discuss how sex became a scandal, not only in the so-called “dangerous method”, psychoanalysis, but also beyond the consulting room. Early 20th century Europe was a cauldron of fertile ideas, Victorian repression, antisemitism and illicit liaisons. John Launer’s Sex versus Survival: the Life and Ideas of Sabina Spielrein recounts how sex and Jewishness (and Jewish sex) became a battleground between Freud and Jung.


Sunday, 2 March 2008

In Mad, Bad and Sad, cultural historian and novelist Lisa Appignanesi took us on a journey through extreme states of mind and explored how a rising profession of mind doctors has diagnosed them over the last two hundred years. Using the cases of celebrated, infamous, and ordinary women, she charted the ways in which more and more of our inner life and emotions have become a matter for medics and therapists.


Sunday, 26 February 2006

In association with the London Jewish Cultural Centre

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David Grossman speaks with Mark Lawson at a special out-of-fesitval event.