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Biography

Lisa Appignanesi OBE is a prize-winning writer, novelist, broadcaster and cultural commentator. Currently a visiting professor at King's and chair of the Royal Society of Literature, she is former president of the campaigning writers association, English PEN, and chair of London’s Freud Museum

As deputy president of English PEN, and then its president, (2002-2011) she led the Free expression is no offence campaign against the Incitement to Religious Hatred llegislation, and campaigned for an end to the Blasphemy Laws and reform to the visa system and libel laws. She also helped to establish the PEN PINTER PRIZE for writers of courage in Britain and abroad; and worked to site Antony Gormley’s commemorative WITNESS chair in the British Library Plaza.

Her award-winning Mad, Bad, and Sad: A History of Women and the Mind Doctors from 1800 to the Present appeared to great critical acclaim, and was followed by the provocative All About Love: Anatomy of an Unruly Emotion. Her book Trials of Passion: In the Name of Love and Madness again delves into the history of psychiatry, investigating the rise of the expert psychiatric witness through remarkable trials of passion. 

Lisa received her OBE for services to literature.