This work digs deep and painfully into personal experience of depression and mental illness, while also considering the wider picture: the historical, social, biological, pharmaceutical and medical aspects and implications of the disease. Having experienced what he is writing about firsthand, Solomon describes the experience from the inside. He has also researched every aspect of depression, including: the historical treatment and study of "melancholy" as far back as the Greeks and Romans (who believed that cauliflower was good for depression), and through to the side effects of the pharmaceutical cocktails of the present day; case histories of people in out of mental hospitals; faith healers; the power of suggestion; and the implications for the future of Western society.
Andrew Solomon is a journalist and lecturer of politics, culture and psychology who writes regularly for the New Yorker, Newsweek, and the Guardian. He is a Lecturer in Psychiatry at Cornell University and Special Adviser on LGBT Affairs to Yale University's Department of Psychiatry. His highly acclaimed international study of depression, The Noonday Demon won the 2001 National Book Award and was a finalist for the 2002 Pulitzer Prize. He lives with his husband and son in New York and London.