A.J. Lees on William S. Burroughs
Thursday, February 8, 2018, 7:00 p.m., City Lights Booksellers, 261 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco
discussing his newly released book
Mentored By A Madman: The William Burroughs Experiment
published by Notting Hill Editions, distributed by New York Review Books
A. J. Lees relates how William S. Burroughs, the author of Naked Lunch and a troubled drug addict, inspired him to discover a groundbreaking treatment for Parkinson's disease. Lees journeys to the Amazon rain forest in search of cures, and through self-experimentation he seeks to find the answers his patients crave. Burroughs is a ghostly mentor to Lees, influencing his methods of inquiry and encouraging him to be open-minded—a rarity in modern clinical practice. This is the story that Lees delayed writing for fear of professional ostracism, but here at last he "lets the cat out of the bag." Mentored by a Madman is a powerful protest against bureaucracy and a call for imagination in medical research.
A. J. Lees is a professor of neurology at the National Hospital, London. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the American Academy of Neurology Lifetime Achievement Award, the Association of British Neurologists' Medal, the Dingebauer Prize for Outstanding Research, and the Gowers Medal. He is one of the most highly cited Parkinson's disease researchers in the world and is the author of several books, including Ray of Hope, which was short-listed for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year, and The Silent Plague.
Praise for the work of A.J. Lees:
Lees takes the reader on an extraordinary journey inside and outside the brain. His deep humanity and honesty shines throughout. The inevitable comparison with the late, great Oliver Sacks is entirely just.
Andrew Lees celebrates the honourable tradition of the hunch in medical diagnosis and treatment.
[Lees's] book is not just a wonderfully unexpected addition to the Burroughs literature, but an important polemic for more humane and imaginative medical research.