How do we understand ourselves in periods of crisis and distress? Such moments – familiar to any life – often create tension between our own sense of self and how the rest of the world sees us. New Yorker staff writer Rachel Aviv, author of Strangers to Ourselves, had her first brush with how people perceive mental health and well-being when she was diagnosed with anorexia Nervosa as a young child. This is the point of departure for her meticulously researched non-fiction narrative that leaves no stone unturned, as she examines not only her own experience but that of a variety of people around the world, each shedding light on a different aspect of mental well-being and illness.
In conversation with

About the speaker

Rachel Aviv is a staff writer at the New Yorker. ‘Strangers to Ourselves’ is her debut book and was named by the New York Times as one of the 10 best books of 2022. The book was also a finalist for the 2023 National Book Critics Circle award in criticism.

Photographer portret: Chris Strathmann.
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This event is developed by
The moderator of this event is
Els Quaegebeur
Journalist, columnist, auteur