Mohrbooks Literary Agency
Published by
Allen Lane/Penguin Press (2021-02-04)
Current material
Final Pages
Original language


How We Make Memories and Memories Make Us

by O'Keane, Veronica

As humans, we are entirely shaped by what we remember. It helps us navigate the world and build a sense of who we are. But what exactly is the power of our memories?

Filled with compelling case studies and the latest neuroscientific research, THE RAG AND BONE SHOP shows how we lay down and process our experiences. When things go wrong, we cannot obliterate those memories. They become authentic to us and hardwired into our reality, whether they happened or not: they make us. Memory can make no distinction between hallucination, dream, or reality. And when those boundaries break down, so does our sense of self.

Drawing on a host of examples from literature, film and fairy tales that all describe, directly or indirectly, the issues that she deals with in her practice as a psychiatrist, O'Keane shows how memory is where mind and matter come together for all of us. A process that can create - and sometimes destroy - every level of our identity.

It's very unusual to hear from someone who is a practitioner as well as a scientist, and because of this, O'Keane has a remarkable talent for explaining neurology for the layman. Looking at everything from schizophrenia to post-partum psychosis, brain tumours to anorexia, this illuminating and empathetic book shows us how we all process experience, how memory is hardwired into our reality and how it contributes to humanity's understanding of itself.

Veronica O'Keane is a Professor of Psychiatry and practising Consultant Psychiatrist at Trinity College Dublin. THE RAG AND BONE SHOP is her first trade book, developed from years of practice in the field and her observations of how we filter our experiences over time.

Available rights (1)

Language Territory Type Vendor Status
German World All

Mohrbooks Literary Agency
Sebastian Ritscher

Available View on Rightsdesk


What a wonderful book, a must read for every counsellor, psychotherapist, life coach and psychiatrist. We are lucky to be able to benefit from Veronica's work. Difficult concepts made comprehensible with rich case studies. I love the way Veronica writes.

Quote: Philippa Perry, author of The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read

USA: Norton ; Japan: Chikuma Shobo ; Korea: RH Korea ; Lithuania: Alma Littera ; Netherlands: Unieboek Spectrum ; Romania: Lifestyle ; Russia: Eksmo ; Spain: Siruela ; Taiwan: Lumières Publishing

Quote: Heath

Veronica O'Keane discusses her upcoming book, THE RAG AND BONE SHOP.

Quote: Author on Youtube

A wonderful book...Veronica O'Keane distils what she has learned about people in her life as a psychiatrist and neuroscientist. She embarks on an enthralling journey through the experiences of some of her patients and explains how the voices they hear or their bizarre beliefs stem from malfunction of different parts of the brain. The reader will appreciate Dr O'Keane's beautiful prose and her caring attitudes and will effortlessly pick up knowledge about how the brain determines our normal and abnormal behaviour.

Quote: Professor Robin Murray, Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists

More like this