Times columnist's investigation into depression to W&N

Times columnist's investigation into depression to W&N

Weidenfeld & Nicolson is publishing an investigation into depression, which makes a case for embracing both art and science to better understand and treat the condition.

In Mending the Mind: The Art and Science of Treating Clinical Depression, Oliver Kamm draws on his own experience of the illness as a jumping off point to investigate depression. He then uses the work of other writers who have similarly suffered to "illuminate the condition" and "explore the state of scientific remedies" devised in treating it. 

In 2014, Kamm experienced what has been refered to as "a period of deep and devastating depression", which left him unable to leave the house without real difficulty. He was able to make "a slow but full recovery", his publisher said, with treatment from a clinical psychologist and a course of antidepressant medication.

Kamm, who is a leader writer and columnist for The Times, has now said he is "determined on describing what it's like and how art and science have illuminated modern understanding of an enduring affliction" following his experience, his ultimate goal being "to enhance public understanding of mental disorder".

Mending the Mind will be published by W&N in hardback and e-book in January 2020.

Following W&N's publication of Kamm's book Accidence Will Happen: The Non-Pedantic Guide to English in 2015, Jenny Lord, publishing director for Weidenfeld & Nicolson Non-fiction, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights in new book Mending the Mind from Will Francis at Janklow & Nesbit.

Lord said: "Oliver writes with a rare clarity and precision on the subject of depression. Mending the Mind will be a serious investigation into a universally relevant subject – deeply research, nuanced and – crucially – recognising that both science and the humanities are vital in our understanding of depression. This is set to be an important publication and one we are proud to publish at W&N."

In recent times, there has been a noticeable boom in mental health publishing, as explored by Bluebird publisher Carole Tonkinson earlier this year.