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The Inward Empire

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Christian Donlan | The Inward Empire | Little, Brown and Company | June 2018 | 18 minutes (4,968 words)

I have never really liked the fact that I have a brain. The thought of it has always made me feel vulnerable and compromised and delicate, as if I am walking around with a glass of water balanced on my head, waiting for it to spill. And I now suspect that I am not entirely alone in this. When, recently, my daughter Leon first became aware of her own brain — when she first noticed the presence of her thoughts sounding inside her head — she assumed she was unwell.

One evening a few weeks back, I was drawn through the house by sudden sobbing. After I’d found Leon crying in the living room, and after I’d wiped her nose and pinned back her hair, she told me, with much floundering and fumbling to get the meaning out, that she had pictures stuck in her head and she didn’t know why. Read more…