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5x15: Bodies

with Rachel Clarke, Gavin Francis, Jack Hartnell, Suzanne O'Sullivan and Aarathi Prasad

In Association with Writers’ Centre Norwich

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Book four or more events at the City of Literature Weekend and save £1.50 per ticket. Join us for all events across the weekend for £90 (save £46).

Five speakers, 15 minutes each to blow your mind. A quick-fire exploration of the mysteries of our bodies and brains, from medical conditions so strange they leave doctors baffled to mental illness and the art of body modification.

Click here to see the full City of Literature Weekend programme

Important information

Assisted performances: BSL logo. BSL interpreted

Duration: c. 1.5 hours

Gavin Francis

TED - Adventures in Being Human

Suzanne O'Sullivan

5x15 - The reality of imaginary illness

Rachel Clarke

Rachel Clarke is a doctor who specialises in palliative care. Before retraining as a doctor, she worked as a television journalist, producing and directing current affairs documentaries. Rachel was at the forefront of the media campaign against the government when they sought to impose a new contract for junior doctors, arguing that imposition would irrevocably damage the NHS.

Gavin Francis

Gavin Francis is a GP, and the author of True North and Empire Antarctica: Ice, Silence & Emperor Penguins, which won the Scottish Book of the Year Award and was shortlisted for the Ondaatje Prize and Costa Prize. He also writes for the Guardian, the Times, London Review of Books and Granta.

Jack Hartnell

Jack Hartnell is Lecturer in Art History at University of East Anglia. He has previously held positions at Columbia University, the Courtauld Institute, the Max-Planck-Institut and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London

Suzanne O’Sullivan

Dr Suzanne O’Sullivan works as a consultant in clinical neurophysiology and neurology at The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, and for a specialist unit based at the Epilepsy Society. She specialises in the investigation of complex epilepsy and has an active interest in psychogenic disorders. Suzanne’s book about psychosomatic illness, It’s All in Your Head, won the Wellcome Book Prize and the Royal Society of Biology Book Prize.

Aarathi Prasad

Aarathi Prasad has presented documentaries for the BBC, Channel 4, National Geographic and the Discovery Channel. She is the author of Like A Virgin: How Science is Redesigning the Rules of Sex; and In the Bonesetter’s Waiting Room: Travels Through Indian Medicine. She currently works at University College London.


Essential companions: Any audience member requiring an essential carer/companion can get one free ticket. Relevant discounts or concessions still apply to the paid ticket.

Book four or more events at the City of Literature Weekend and save £1.50 per ticket. Join us for all events across the weekend for £90 (save £46).

In association with Writers’ Centre Norwich

Writers' Centre Norwich logo. Norwich City of Literature Logo

In association with 5×15

5x15 Logo