A Smell of Burning

A Smell of Burning

A Memoir of Epilepsy

Summary

One day Colin Grant’s teenage brother Christopher failed to emerge from the bathroom. His family broke down the door to find him unconscious on the floor. None of their lives were ever the same again. Christopher was diagnosed with epilepsy. In A Smell of Burning Colin Grant tells the remarkable story of this strange and misunderstood disorder. He shows us the famous people with epilepsy like Julius Caesar, Joan of Arc and Vincent van Gogh, the pioneering doctors whose extraordinary breakthroughs finally helped gain an understanding of how the brain works, and, through the tragic tale of his brother, he considers the effect of epilepsy on his own life.

Reviews

  • [A] brilliant, tender book… An extraordinary work of love and art, which left me choked with tears.
    Maggie Gee, Observer

About the author

Colin Grant

Colin Grant is a historian and author of five highly praised books: Negro with a Hat: The Rise and Fall of Marcus Garvey (2008), I and I: The Natural Mystics Marley, Tosh and Wailer (2011), Bageye at the Wheel (2012), A Smell of Burning (2016), and Homecoming (2019). He is an Associate Fellow in the Centre for Caribbean Studies, and teaches creative non-fiction writing, most recently for Arvon and Sierra Nevada College.
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