Mad World: Micha Frazer-Carroll in Conversation with Sophie K Rosa

  • Tuesday 17 October 2023, 7pm
  • Pages of Hackney, 70 Lower Clapton Road, London, E5 0RN
  • £8 (Solidarity) · £6 (Standard) · £4 (Concession)

Mad World: The Politics of Mental Health

Micha Frazer-Carroll

Mental health affects us all, and yet it remains elusive as a concept.

Does getting a diagnosis help or hinder? How is mental wellbeing, which is often incredibly personal, driven by widespread societal suffering? Can it be a social construct and real at the same time?

These are some of the big questions Micha Frazer-Carroll asks as she reveals mental health to be a political issue that needs deeper understanding beyond today’s ‘awareness raising’ campaigns.

Exploring the history of asylums and psychiatry; the relationship between disability and broader liberation movements; alternative models of care; the relationship between art and mental health; law and the decarceration of mental health, Mad World is a radical and hopeful antidote to pathologisation, gatekeeping and the policing of imagination.

Micha Frazer-Carroll is a journalist involved with a number of radical health and healing initiatives. She founded and edited Blueprint, a lived experience-led mental health magazine, and was the opinion editor at gal-dem, a magazine created by people of colour of marginalised genders. She also worked as the welfare and rights officer for Cambridge University Students’ Union, mainly campaigning around racism and mental health. This year she published MAD WORLD, which takes a radical political approach to carve out a new politics of mental health. She organises with and does press work for a number of abolitionist groups.

Sophie K Rosa is a writer and the author of Radical Intimacy, published by Pluto Press earlier this year. She is also a trainee psychoanalyst.


To ensure there is space for you at the event, we strongly recommend booking tickets in advance via Eventbrite. All ticket types offer general admission and unreserved seating.

Solidarity: Paying a little extra helps to fund our concessionary tickets (£8)

Standard: Our standard ticket rate (£6)

Concession: For those on a low income (£4)


The event will be held in the shop’s basement, which sadly due to the architectural limitations of the building is without wheelchair access. The space is accessed via stairs with a handrail on the left side.

The event will be amplified by a PA system to ensure all speakers are audible, and will be recorded and made available as a podcast at a later date.

A gender neutral toilet is available on the shop’s ground floor, which is upstairs from the event space.

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Anna Metcalfe recommends…

Ahead of our upcoming event with Anna Metcalfe for her brilliant debut novel CHRYSALIS, we asked Anna to recommend some of the books that inspired her writing!

“Who knew that a novel about an EU postal directive could be so entertaining? I can’t think of a better writer on the bureaucratic absurdity of modern life.”

“Philosophy, psychoanalysis, literary theory and criticism come together in this truly joyful book about being your true, unknowable self: an essential, life affirming read in the age of branding and social media.”

“This novel, in jewel-like sentences, skewers contemporary consumer culture like nothing else I’ve read.”

“This book is so intelligent on the intensity and complexity of mother-daughter relationships. It’s also darkly funny and often made me laugh out loud.”

“Chrysalis began in a seminar I was teaching on Han Kang’s The Vegetarian. I love bringing this strange novel to students. No matter how many times I read The Vegetarian, it always has something new to show me.”

Join us on 29 September when we welcome Anna to read from and discuss her incredible debut novel CHRYSALIS with Julianne Pachico.

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Listen: Sheena Patel in Conversation with Sophie Heawood

Name a more iconic duo! 😍

If you weren’t amongst the lucky few that joined us in person a couple of weeks back to hear Sheena Patel discussing I’M A FAN with Sophie Heawood, the event is now available in podcast format. Listen below, or search wherever you get your podcasts.

Huge thanks once again to Sheena and Sophie, Nina and Kate at Rough Trade Books, and everyone that joined us live 💥

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Melissa Febos and Tanya Shadrick in conversation

It was a real joy to welcome Melissa Febos and Tanya Shadrick yesterday evening for a brilliant discussion of the art of memoir, the challenges of corporeal writing, and navel-gazing as an act of resistance. Thank you so, so much to Melissa and Tanya as well as all of you that joined us live!

Watch below if you missed it, and be sure to check out Melissa’s new book BODY WORK and Tanya’s book THE CURE FOR SLEEP, both available to order for collection or nationwide delivery.

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Musa Okwonga and Tayo Popoola in Conversation

“Sometimes you forget you are in this migrant body, then the news reminds you.”

Musa Okwonga reads from IN THE END, IT WAS ALL ABOUT LOVE earlier this month at the shop. If you weren’t one of the lucky few that managed to score a ticket for Musa’s event with Tayo Popoola, we’ve just shared a recording of their incredible discussion to YouTube.

Watch below relive a very special conversation exploring radical vulnerability, love, race, loneliness, and family that we felt enormously fortunate to host.

Enormous thanks once again to Musa, Tayo, Rough Trade Books, and everyone that joined us on the night!

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Hear Candice Carty-Williams discussing Queenie at the Old School Rooms

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If you missed out on tickets to hear Candice Carty-Williams discussing her bestselling debut novel QUEENIE with Sareeta Domingo  on February 7th then fear not, you can now listen below.

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ICYMI: Hear Paul Beatty talking fruit, satire, and cognitive dissonance at Sutton House

We were super excited to welcome 2016 Man Booker Prize winner Paul Beatty to Hackney on Friday night, and if you weren’t lucky enough to nab a ticket before they sold out, you can now listen to the whole thing below. Thank you to Sunny Singh for chairing the event, and to our amazing customers who asked some really insightful, relevant and thought-provoking questions. Paul remarked during the talk that it was one of the better discussions he’s had in a long time!

Huge thanks to Admas Habteslasie for the recording.

Join our mailing list to be the first to hear about forthcoming literary events!

Brexit: What the Hell Happens Now? with Ian Dunt and Rafael Behr

Brexit: What the Hell Happens Now by Ian Dunt
Brexit: What the Hell Happens Now by Ian Dunt

Britain’s departure from the European Union is filled with propaganda and myth but the risks are very real. With the help of constitutional and trade experts, political journalist Ian Dunt explains why exiting the EU is likely to make the UK poorer, leave industries like pharmaceuticals and finance struggling to operate, and possibly break up the UK.

This is the first full public exploration of Brexit shorn of the wishful thinking of its supporters in the media and Parliament. It is the real picture of a country about to undergo a sudden self-inflicted isolation.

Ian will be discussing his book and its implications with Guardian journalist Rafael Behr.

Cory Doctorow and Olivia Sudjic in conversation

Cory Doctorow and Olivia Sudjic
Cory Doctorow and Olivia Sudjic
Cory Doctorow and Olivia Sudjic discuss their new novels, Walkaway and Sympathy.

Walkaway by Cory Doctorow

In a world wrecked by climate change, in a society owned by the ultra-rich, in a city hollowed out by industrial flight, Hubert, Etc, Seth and Natalie have nowhere else to be and nothing better to do. But there is another way. After all, now that anyone can design and print the basic necessities of life – food, clothing, shelter – from a computer, there is little reason to toil within the system. So, like thousands of others in the mid-21st century, the three of them turn their back on the world of rules, jobs, the morning commute and… walkaway. It’s a dangerous world out there, the empty lands are lawless, hiding predators – animal and human alike. Still, when the initial pioneer walkaways flourish, the thousands become hundreds of thousands, building what threatens to become a post-scarcity utopia. But then the walkaways discover the one thing the ultra-rich have never been able to buy: how to beat death. And now it’s war – a war that will turn the world upside down.
Cory is a former Clapton resident whose previous books include Little Brother, Homeland, and Pirate Cinema. He is co-editor of the long running technology blog Boing Boing, and has worked with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Participatory Culture Foundation, and the MetaBrainz foundation.


Sympathy by Olivia Sudjic

An electrifying novel of blood ties, online identities, and our tormented efforts to connect in the digital age. At twenty-three, Alice Hare leaves England for New York. She falls in love with Manhattan, and becomes fixated on Mizuko Himura, an intriguing Japanese writer whose life has strange parallels to her own. As Alice closes in on Mizuko, her ‘internet twin’, realities multiply and fact and fiction begin to blur. The relationship between the two women exposes a tangle of lies and sexual encounters. Three families collide as Alice learns that the swiftest answer to an ancient question – where do we come from? – can now be found online.
Olivia was born in London and has previously written for The Observer, The Debrief, Elle, Hunger, The Gloss, and Read It Forward. Sympathy is her debut novel.

The Sellout with Paul Beatty

The Sellout by Paul Beatty
The Sellout by Paul Beatty

We’re thrilled to welcome 2016 Man Booker Prize winner Paul Beatty to Sutton House!

Born in the ‘agrarian ghetto’ of Dickens on the southern outskirts of Los Angeles and raised by a single father, a controversial sociologist, the narrator of The Sellout spent his childhood as the subject in racially charged psychological studies. He is led to believe his father’s pioneering work will result in a memoir that will solve his family’s financial woes. But when his father is killed in a police shoot-out, he realises there never was a memoir. All that’s left is the bill for a drive-through funeral.

Fuelled by this deceit and the general disrepair of his hometown, the narrator sets out to right another wrong: Dickens has literally been removed from the map to save California from further embarrassment. Enlisting the help of the town’s most famous resident – Hominy Jenkins – he initiates the most outrageous action conceivable: reinstating slavery and segregating the local high school which lands him in the Supreme Court.

What follows is a remarkable journey that challenges the sacred tenets of the United States Constitution, urban life, the civil rights movement and the holy grail of racial equality – the black Chinese restaurant.

This event will be chaired by Sunny Singh, author of four novels, numerous short stories and non fiction texts. Sunny is currently teaching Creative Writing at London Metropolitan University.

Big thanks to The Five Points Brewing Company whose delicious XPA will be available at a special price on the night!