On Agoraphobia

Graham Caveney author


Publisher:Pan Macmillan

Published:11th May '23


Available to order, but very limited on stock - if we have issues obtaining a copy, we will let you know.

On Agoraphobia cover

Part memoir, part cultural history: a brilliant, funny, moving, and insightful book about agoraphobia, its history, its appearances in literature, and a reckoning of a life lived under its rule.

‘One of my favourite living writers: intelligent, lucid and, most impressive of all, funny’ - Jonathan Coe

If we’re talking agoraphobia, we’re talking books. I slip between their covers, lose myself in the turn of one page, re-discover myself on the next. Reading is a game of hide-and-seek. Narrative and neurosis, uneasy bedfellows sleeping top to toe.

On Agoraphobia
is a fascinating, entertaining and sometimes painfully acute look at what it means to go through life with an anxiety disorder that evades easy definition.

When Graham Caveney was in his early twenties he began to suffer from what was eventually diagnosed as agoraphobia. What followed were decades of managing his condition and learning to live within the narrow limits it imposed on his life: no motorways, no dual carriageways, no shopping centres, limited time outdoors.

Graham’s quest to understand his illness brought him back to his first love: books. From Harper Lee’s Boo Radley, Ford Madox Ford, Emily Dickinson, and Shirley Jackson: the literary world is replete with examples of agoraphobics – once you go looking for them.

‘Intellectually curious, emotionally bracing and immensely erudite’ - Blake Morrison, The Guardian

‘Captivating’ Richard Beard

Never less than completely absorbing, simply because [Caveney] is such a nimble, exact writer, able to move swiftly but unjarringly between daft jokes and serious reflections. * Telegraph *
Intellectually curious, emotionally bracing and immensely erudite. . .bright and funny, and full of telling quotes. . .it will hearten people who have agoraphobia, enlighten medics and teach outsiders all the lessons Caveney has learned -- Blake Morrison * Guardian *
A strange and many-headed work that melds personal experience with cultural criticism....thoughtful, humane and unjustly enjoyable * Sunday Times *
One of my favourite living writers: intelligent, lucid and, most impressive of all, funny – even when he’s writing about the most difficult subjects. -- Jonathan Coe
Captivating . . . but also a book unscared of open white space, which feels like an act of defiance. For a book about agoraphobia it covers a huge amount of ground. -- Richard Beard
Graham Caveney approaches the subject of agoraphobia diaristically, legally, and philosophically; he drinks about it, reads about it, has therapy about it, and assembles the long and fascinating history of its writers. -- Sarah Manguso
A witty and engaging cultural history, and a frank and insightful memoir: On Agrophobia is original, smart and hugely entertaining -- David Nicholls

ISBN: 9781529057720

Dimensions: 197mm x 130mm x 13mm

Weight: 155g

208 pages