Lisa Appignanesi

Lisa Appignanesi has been a university lecturer in European Studies and was Deputy Director of London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts. Her works of non-fiction include Freud’s Women (with John Forrester), a biographical portrait of Simone de Beauvoir, and a history of cabaret. She has edited The Rushdie File and a number of books on contemporary culture, as well as producing various films for television. Lisa Appignanesi lives in London with her two children.

Mad, Bad and Sad: Women and the Mind Doctors
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. With psychoanalyst Susie Orbach, she discussed how craziness takes on the expressive c...
From The Feminine Mystique to Fifty Shades – 50 Years On
“The book that pulled the trigger on history”, The Feminine Mystique created an instant impact on its publication in 1963, altering consciousness, culture and lives. On the 50th Anniversary of its publication, Jewish Book Week looked at the continued reverberations of Betty Friedan’s feminist rallying cry, in a discussion including two generations of women writers and artists. Lisa Appignanesi, Julie Bindel, Bidisha and Leah Thorn examine how a book ignited a revolution, taking t...
Going behind Closed Doors: Judging Book Prizes
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 Appignanesi, Natalie Haynes, Sam Leith and Erica Wagner will be held in check by neuroscientist Daniel Glaser...
Caroline Pick and Lisa Appignanesi: Retrieving Lost Memories
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. In A...
Cherchez la femme
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 Jewishnes...
Love Is
Love rules our lives. Philosopher Simon May, in a radically new theory of love, examines its real aim. For all its wild unpredictability, why is love so pertinacious? Indeed why do we love at all? Clinical psychologist Frank Tallis takes a look at the darker side of love – obsession – demonstrating that ultimately love dissolves the divide between what we judge to be normal and abnormal. Simon and Frank, in conversation with cultural commentator...
Descent into Darkness
In Insomnia, Marina Benjamin has produced an unsettling account of an unsettling condition, treating our inability to sleep not as a disorder, but as an existential experience that can electrify our understanding of ourselves, and of creativity and love. Lisa Appignanesi, in Everyday Madness, writes of the rage she experienced when her partner of 32 years died. In this brave examination of an ‘ordinary enough’ death and its aftermath, she scrutinises her own and ...