A New Yorker Book to Watch Out For
Falling Into the Fire

“Thoughtful and deeply compassionate…[Falling Into the Fire] is a fluid meditation on the limits of medicine and how Montross learned to care for ‘people nearly all of whom are in profound moments of crisis.’…This is not a doctor puzzling clues together like some real-world Dr. House; this is a doctor struggling to sit with the uncomfortable questions that arise when medicine doesn't have any answers.” —Los Angeles Times

"[Montross’s] poetic insights into how tragedies may be understood stir empathy, as [she] delves into the details of the history of her patients… This beautifully written book...encourages compassion."
—Library Journal

"[Montross's] accounts of the complexities of mental illnesses encountered in the field stand in stark contrast to the tidy descriptions of those illnesses presented in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, and her intriguing analysis is anchored by the humble and empathetic voice of a psychiatrist working in a field wherein “every diagnosis is an act of faith.” —Publishers Weekly

"Montross writes of these encounters with a dramatic flair, ever empathetic but unsparing of occasional negative feelings, fears and frustrations… a sympathetic portrait of seriously ill patients."

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In Falling Into the Fire, psychiatrist Christine Montross reveals the complexities of navigating the mind’s treacherous terrain. Montross’s journey spans the course of her residency and her early years as an attending physician, and is shaped by a set of gripping patient encounters. Each case study presents its own line of inquiry, leading Montross to seek relevant psychiatric knowledge from diverse sources. She discovers lessons in medieval dancing plagues, in leading forensic and neurological research, and in moments from her own life. Beautifully written, deeply felt, Falling Into the Fire brings us inside the doctor’s mind, illuminating the grave human costs of mental illness as well as the challenges of diagnosis and treatment.