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Extended Audio Sample The Man Who Walked Away: A Novel, by Maud Casey Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Maud Casey Narrator: George Guidall Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In a trance-like state, Albert walks—from Bordeaux to Poitiers, from Chaumont to Macon, and farther afield to Turkey, Austria, Russia—all over Europe. When he walks, he is called a vagrant, a mad man. He is chased out of towns and villages, ridiculed and imprisoned. When the reverie of his walking ends, he’s left wondering where he is, with no memory of how he got there. His past exists only in fleeting images.

Loosely based on the case history of Albert Dadas, a psychiatric patient in the hospital of St. André in Bordeaux in the nineteenth century, The Man Who Walked Away imagines Albert’s wanderings and the anguish that caused him to seek treatment with a doctor who would create a diagnosis for him, a narrative for his pain.

In a time when mental health diagnosis is still as much art as science, Maud Casey takes us back to its tentative beginnings and offers us an intimate relationship between one doctor and his patient as, together, they attempt to reassemble a lost life. Through Albert she gives us a portrait of a man untethered from place and time who, in spite of himself, kept setting out, again and again, in search of wonder and astonishment.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A haunting, deeply empathetic, and rigorously intelligent novel. It is also a seamless marvel of construction and language. The Man Who Walked Away cast a spell from which I never wished to wake.”

    Alice Sebold, New York Times bestselling author of The Lovely Bones 

  • “Rhapsodic…Casey’s book is a vivid chronicle of the time, bringing alive the mysteries and joys of a fledgling science…Casey evokes—with no shortage of verve and gusto—the romance of nineteenth-century Europe, when madness plagued more than asylums, and nomadism acquired an allure it had never had…Mesmerizing…As compelling a portrait as you will find of the codependence between psychiatrist and patient.”

    Washington Post

  • “Casey is a consummate stylist, and her new book is so richly engaged with language, so profligate with glorious sentences, that at times the prose ascends to the level of poetry. This is a writer who pays deep, sensual attention to the world.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Unconventional and engaging…Though her plot is solidly rooted in the history of medicine, Casey’s true focus is human rather than clinical. Our need for stories, our relationship with time, the inevitability of loss, and our startling endurance all resonate through her beautifully crafted interweaving of image and observation, fairy tale and fact.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Lyrical in its style and fascinating in its psychology, Casey’s narrative provokes a host of intriguing questions beyond those the Doctor raises, and Casey is wise enough as an author not to provide easy answers..”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “Drawing on real-life events, Casey paints a touching portrait of a patient and his doctor as a mystery is quietly resolved.”

    Library Journal

  • “In this exploration of madness and isolation in modern society, George Guidall’s narration gives listeners a sense of Albert, an older man in the nineteenth century who is a psychiatric patient. Guidall uses a husky tone and a broadcaster’s emphatic pronunciation to create dramatic tension. At other points, his hushed delivery gives the listener a feeling of intimacy with Albert as well as empathy for his disorientation and vulnerability. Albert’s inner monologue is told with a gentle nostalgia and depth of feeling that are in poignant contrast to his flat responses to the outer world.”

    AudioFile

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About the Author

Maud Casey is the author of several novels, including The Shape of Things to Come, a New York Times Notable Book, and Genealogy, as well as a collection of stories, Drastic. She is the recipient of the Calvino Prize and has received fellowships from the Fundación Valparaiso, Hawthornden International Writers Retreat, Château de Lavigny, Dora Maar, and the Passa Porta residency at Villa Hellebosch. Casey teaches at the University of Maryland and lives in Washington, DC.