Suzanne O’Sullivan

The Sleeping Beauties

Wigtown Parish Church
In person & Online event
Sat 2 Oct
10:00 UK
£0.00 to £8.00

This is a live audience event. Participants will be on stage in the venue. The event will also be simultaneously streamed on our website. Online access is free but please pay what you can. Booking for online events is optional, but by reserving an online ticket you will receive a reminder beforehand.

Earning comparisons to Oliver Sacks and Henry Marsh, this is a touching scientific investigation into psychosomatic illnesses — medical disorders that are as influenced by the idiosyncrasies of culture as by human biology. Here, among others, are accounts of refugee children in Sweden who fall asleep for months and years at a time, and high school students in upstate New York who develop contagious seizures. O’Sullivan investigates fascinating stories from an array of people, attempting to unravel their complex meaning while asking: who gets to define what is and isn’t an illness?

About the author: Suzanne O’Sullivan is a neurologist. She won the 2016 Wellcome Book Prize for her first book, It's All in Your Head: True Stories of Imaginary Illness, which also won the Royal Society of Biology General Book Prize.

The Sleeping Beauties is available from the Wigtown Book Festival shop HERE

Wigtown Book Festival Events

This year's programme is a combination of physical and digital events. Please ensure you book correctly. Digital events will stream through the homepage of with young adult events streaming through the YA page.

Unless otherwise stated, events will last between 45 minutes - 1 hour.

Full Terms and Conditions for attending this year's Festival in person can be found on our website.

Asking questions
On live-streamed events, questions can be put into the live chat box on YouTube or by clicking the 'ask a question' box below the stream on the homepage of the website and they will be forwarded to the speakers.

Buy the books
Browse our online bookshop, which will stock all our speakers’ latest titles.

If you have any queries about any of the Wigtown Festival Company events, please don’t hesitate to get in touch by emailing