The Mask of Sanity (Hardcover)

By Jacob M Appel

The Permanent Press, 9781579624958, 256pp.

Publication Date: March 31, 2017

List Price: 28.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


On the outside, Dr. Jeremy Balint is a pillar of the community: the youngest division chief at his hospital, a model son to his elderly parents, fiercely devoted to his wife and two young daughters. On the inside, Dr. Jeremy Balint is a high-functioning sociopath—a man who truly believes himself to stand above the ethical norms of society. As long as life treats him well, Balint has no cause to harm others. When life treats him poorly, he reveals the depths of his cold-blooded depravity.

At a cultural moment when the media bombards us with images of so-called “sociopaths” who strive for good and criminals redeemed by repentance, The Mask of Sanity offers an antidote to implausible tales of “evil gone right.” In contrast to fictional predecessors like Dostoyevesky’s Raskolnikov and Camus’ Mersault, Dr. Balint is a man who already “has it all”—and will do everything in his power, no matter how immoral, to keep what he has.

About the Author

JACOB M. APPEL is a physician, attorney, and bioethicist based in New York City. He is the author of six collections of short fiction, two novels, and a collection of essays. His short stories have been published in more than 200 journals and have been short-listed for the O. Henry Award, Best American Short Stories, Best American Mystery Stories, Best American Nonrequired Reading, and the Pushcart Prize anthology. His commentary on law, medicine, and ethics has appeared in the New York Times, New York Post, New York Daily News, Chicago Tribune, Detroit Free Press, and many other major newspapers. He taught for many years at Brown University and currently reaches at the Gotham Writers’ Workshop and the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.