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Hysteria

Hysteria

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Katerina Bryant
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When Katerina Bryant suddenly began experiencing chronic seizures, she was plunged into a foreign world of doctors and psychiatrists, who understood her condition as little as she did. Reacting the only way she knew how, she immersed herself in books, reading her way through her own complicated diagnosis and finding a community of women who shared similar experiences.

In the tradition of Siri Hustvedt’s The Shaking Woman, Bryant blends memoir with literary and historical analysis to explore women’s medical treatment. Hysteria retells the stories of silenced women, from the ‘Queen of Hysterics’ Blanche Wittmann to Mary Glover’s illness termed ‘hysterica passio’ a panic attack caused by the movement of the uterus — in London in 1602 and more. By centring these stories of women who had no voice in their own diagnosis and treatment, Bryant finds her own voice: powerful, brave and resonant.

About the Author

Katerina Bryant is a writer based in South Australia. Her work has appeared in Griffith Review, The Lifted Brow, Kill Your Darlings, Southerly, Island Magazine and Voiceworks, amongst others. She has been shortlisted for the 2019 TLB & RMIT non/fiction Lab Prize for Experimental Writing, the 2018 Feminartsy Memoir Prize, and the 2016 Scribe Nonfiction Prize for Young Writers. She has also been anthologised in the collection Balancing Acts: Women in Sport (Brow Books). She is the inaugural recipient of the 2018 Writers SA Varuna Fellowship for Emerging Writers, and has appeared in various panels and events including the Emerging Writers' Festival and National Young Writers' Festival.