11th Annual Prechter Lecture featuring Marya Hornbacher

Author of: Madness - A Bipolar Life

Watch the video:

The 11th Annual Prechter Lecture was held on Wednesday, November 8th, 2017 from 6:00 – 9:00 pm at the Kahn Auditorium, A. Alfred Taubman Biomedical Science Research Building, 109 Zina Pitcher Place, Ann Arbor, MI 48109

We were pleased to present:

  • Marya Hornbacher (keynote speaker)
    Author of Madness - A Bipolar Life 
  • PANEL DISCUSSION: "The Present and Future of Research in Bipolar Disorder"

Moderator: Melvin McInnis, M.D.


  • Marya Hornbacher
  • John Greden, M.D., Executive Director of the U-M DepressionCenter; Rachel Upjohn Professor of Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences; Research Professor, Molecular and Behavioral Neurosciences (MBNI); Founding Chair, National Network of Depression Centers
  • Emily Mower Provost, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Computer Science and Engineering
  • Todd Herron, Ph.D., Associate Research Scientist, Molecular and Integrative Physiology and Associate Research Scientist, Internal Medicine
  • Jennifer F., Prechter Program Research Participant

About the Author & Book

When Marya Hornbacher published her first book, Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia, she did not yet have the piece of shattering knowledge that would finally make sense of the chaos of her life. At age
twenty-four, Hornbacher was diagnosed with type 1 rapid-cycle bipolar, the most severe form of bipolar disorder.

In Madness, in her trademark wry and utterly self-revealing voice, Hornbacher tells her new story. Through scenes of astonishing visceral and emotional power, she takes us inside her own desperate attempts to counteract violently careening mood swings by self-starvation, substance abuse, numbing sex, and self-mutilation. How Hornbacher fights her way up from a madness that all but destroys her, and what it is like to live in a difficult and sometimes beautiful life and marriage — where bipolar always beckons — is at the center of this brave and heart-stopping memoir.

Madness delivers the revelation that Hornbacher is not alone: millions of people in America today are struggling with a variety of disorders that may disguise their bipolar disease. And Hornbacher's fiercely self-aware portrait of her own bipolar as early as age four will powerfully change, too, the current debate on whether bipolar in children actually exists.

Ten years after Kay Redfield Jamison's An Unquiet Mind, this storm of a memoir will revolutionize our understanding of bipolar disorder.


Marya Hornbacher, described as "a virtuoso writer and master storyteller" by the New York Times, is an award-winning essayist, journalist, and the internationally bestselling author of five books. Hornbacher’s work has been published in eighteen languages, and her writing across genres appears regularly in literary and journalistic publications around the world, most recently in AGNI, Gulf Coast, The Normal School, Fourth Genre, DIAGRAM, Broad Street, and The Bellingham Review. Her sixth book, a work of long-form journalism, will be published in 2018, and her seventh, a collection of essays, is underway. She was recently honored with the Annie Dillard Award in Creative Nonfiction. Find out more about her work at www.maryahornbacher.com.

“Hornbacher is a virtuoso writer.” 

- The New York Times

“Hooks readers from the start … [As Hornbacher] whips around this rollercoaster ride, her unflinching style keeps us firmly seated beside her.”


We are grateful to our sponsors:

The Bruce C. Abrams Foundation and Holbrook's Roofing