The Geography of Madness (Hardcover)

Penis Thieves, Voodoo Death, and the Search for the Meaning of the World's Strangest Syndromes

By Frank Bures

Melville House Publishing, 9781612193724, 256pp.

Publication Date: April 26, 2016

List Price: 25.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Why do some men become convinced--despite what doctors tell them--that their penises have, simply, disappeared. Why do people across the world become convinced that they are cursed to die on a particular date--and then do? Why do people in Malaysia suddenly "run amok"?

In The Geography of Madness, acclaimed magazine writer Frank Bures investigates these and other "culture-bound" syndromes, tracing each seemingly baffling phenomenon to its source. It's a fascinating, and at times rollicking, adventure that takes the reader around the world and deep into the oddities of the human psyche. What Bures uncovers along the way is a poignant and stirring story of the persistence of belief, fear, and hope.

About the Author

FRANK BURES's stories have appeared in Harper's, Esquire, Outside, Bicycling, and Wired, and have been included in a number of Best American Travel Writing anthologies. They've also been selected as "Notable" picks for Best American Sports Writing 2012 and the Best American Essays 2013. He lives in Minneapolis.