October: the month in books

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October: the month in books

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October is about big ideas, says Emran Mian

October brings books about madness, extinction, deceit, self-deception, viral storms and human nature. The last twinkle of summer is over. Now it’s the Thinking Season, the Hunker Down Brooding Season. But seriousness is no bad thing. Even sitting beside a swimming pool on holiday, we remember that this world contains attics and basements too. Yet these books have another, more disturbing quality: they approach their subjects too directly.

The latest from psychoanalyst Darian Leader is called What is Madness? (Hamish Hamilton, £20). I would like to know of course, but I don’t think I’ve ever asked the question in the form of the title. I might have asked: Am I going mad right now? Is she mad? Is she mad in the same way as me? Is she free on Thursday night? My questions differ from Leader’s leading question not only because,

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Kamran Nazeer

Emran Mian
Emran Mian is the new Director of the Social Market Foundation, an independent think tank. He worked as a civil servant for ten years. His most recent book is a novel titled The Banker’s Daughter 

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