Suzanne o'Sullivan: The Sleeping Beauties live at WOMAD

Just before we dive back into  a new series of food after the summer break, we’re back at WOMAD’s World of Words tent where Gilly chatted to Wellcome prize winning neurologist , Suzanne  o'Sullivan about her astonishing book The Sleeping Beauties.


It’s her investigation of mystery illnesses, a wave of ‘mass hysteria’ in communities across the world. Terrifyingly, it’s affecting a growing number of people, usually children or adolescents and mostly girls who’ve lost hope for all sorts of sociopolitical reasons. From Cuba to Kazakhstan, Guyana to the most famous Swedish asylum seeking girls who have been asleep for years, o'Sullivan explores how powerfully the body can communicate distress when no-one listens. This is a trip deep into the human psyche via misogyny, cultural imperialism and more than a little voodoo.  And not a single mention of food in the hour of chat! 




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