Brain on Fire - Susannah Cahalan

Brain on Fire

By Susannah Cahalan

  • Release Date: 2012-11-13
  • Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
Score: 4.5
From 1,518 Ratings



A “captivating” (The New York Times Book Review), award-winning memoir and instant New York Times bestseller that goes far beyond its riveting medical mystery, Brain on Fire is a powerful account of one woman’s struggle to recapture her identity.

When twenty-four-year-old Susannah Cahalan woke up alone in a hospital room, strapped to her bed and unable to move or speak, she had no memory of how she’d gotten there. Days earlier, she had been on the threshold of a new, adult life: at the beginning of her first serious relationship and a promising career at a major New York newspaper. Now she was labeled as violent, psychotic, a flight risk. What happened?

In an “unforgettable” (Elle), “stunningly brave” (NPR), and breathtaking narrative, Susannah tells the astonishing true story of her descent into madness, her family’s inspiring faith in her, and the lifesaving diagnosis that almost didn’t happen. “A fascinating look at the disease that…could have cost this vibrant, vital young woman her life” (People), Brain on Fire is an unforgettable exploration of memory and identity, faith and love, and a profoundly compelling tale of survival and perseverance.


  • Brain on Fire

    By BW 72
    This book was recommended to me by a psychiatrist I met at the dog park. I read everything I can find on mental illnesses to help me better understand my daughter’s diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder. Armed with this new information we have another appointment scheduled with a neurologist. And for the first time I have some hope. Thank you for writing this book!
  • AE in recovery

    By DehSoNice
    This book was like therapy for me. It helped me realize that I’m not alone and also gave me insight into the disease Autoimmune Encephalitis. I appreciate Susannah for telling her story and allowing us to be apart of her journey. As I continue my recovery, I will remember this book and all the things I have highlighted.
  • Amazing

    By Kodeiin
    I’ve always been fascinated by stories like this and this one is hands down my favorite.
  • Brain on Fire

    By Uman Dave
    What a wonderful surprise! I loved this book did not want it to end.
  • Truthful

    By richnorm
    I had this illness for 13 months starting in 1967 and ending in Jan 1968, while I was pregnant the whole time I was given every test including truth serum, tied to the hospital bed for 30 days, put on medication, which I still take today. No problems since then, and baby is now 51. Thank you for your story.
  • CSU

    By Mahkennziee
  • Loved it!

    By jordancckrll
    Loved it! I couldn't put it down once I started reading!
  • It's a hit

    By Duck_duck123
    Mesmerizing. I knew from the moment I read it that it needed to made into a movie. And now it is. Cheers!
  • Brain on Fire

    By JennyLynne1
    Stayed up all night reading this book! Great insight into what having a mental illness would be like and a surprising medical reason for the source of the disease. Leaves on wondering how many other mental conditions have an underlying physical source.
  • Incredible Journey

    By Marty K.A.
    This is a great read. I throughly enjoyed the incredible and frightening journey this young woman lived through!