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Exuberance
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About the Author

KAY REDFIELD JAMISON is a professor of psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine as well as an honorary professor of English at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. She is the author of the national best sellers An Unquiet Mind, Night Falls Fast, and Touched with Fire. She is coauthor of the standard medical text on manic-depressive illness and author or coauthor of more than one hundred scientific papers about mood disorders, creativity, and psychopharmacology. Dr. Jamison, the recipient of numerous national and international scientific awards, is a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellow.

Reviews

The celebrated author of The Unquiet Mind swings away from the mind's darker recesses to examine boundless enthusiasm. With a 13-city author tour. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

"[Jamison is] that rare writer who can offer a kind of unified field theory of science and art. . . . The origins and mystery of creativity have long been her holy grail, and she argues -- with her usual wit, ingenuity and panache -- that exuberance is one of its wellsprings." --The Washington Post Book World"Fascinating reading. . . . On a subject that invites inflates prose, Jamison maintains a deft but not showy eloquence. . . . Trenchant and entertaining." --San Francisco Chronicle"Jamison brilliantly conjures up characters. . . . A book on exuberance ought to be a romp to read. The one is." --Los Angeles Times"Jamison has a capacity for moving smoothly between tasty digressions, hard science and sweeping cultural analyses. . . . This reads like a book that was a long time in coming, written by one who came to appreciate the brightest sunlight only after becoming acquainted with the darkest nights." --The Seattle Times

If exuberance is "the passion for life," then Jamison's enthusiasm and sense of wonder about the subject proves as fine an example as any examined in her newest work. Expert in the arena of mood and temperament, Jamison (An Unquiet Mind; Night Falls Fast; Touched with Fire) detours from her usual analysis of mood disorders in favor of the livelier side of personality. She examines the contagious nature of exuberance, which she defines as "a psychological state characterized by high mood and high energy," offering diverse examples that range from John Muir and FDR to Mary Poppins and Peter Pan. Having in mind the simply put idea that "those who are exuberant act," the author details the energetic efforts of scientists, naturalists, politicians and even her meteorologist father. The dual nature of humanity is a common theme, as Jamison distinguishes between introversion and extroversion, nature and nurture, and healthy emotion and pathology. Such analysis is at times thorough to the point of redundancy, and even the most interested reader may find parts of the book exhausting to navigate. But Jamison makes up for it with her contagious enthusiasm for the subject-a mood that will make readers feel, well, exuberant. Perhaps Snoopy explains it best when, as exemplified in a comic strip here, he leaps for joy, waxing philosophically: "To those of us with real understanding, dancing is the only pure art form.... To live is to dance, to dance is to live." 100,000 first printing; 13-city author tour; simultaneous audiobook. (Oct. 1) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

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