Frank Bures is an award-winning writer and essayist. He is the author of The Geography of Madness: Penis Thieves, Voodoo Death and the Search for the Meaning of the World’s Strangest Syndromes, and the editor of Under Purple Skies: The Minneapolis Anthology. He is also a long-time columnist for The Rotarian Magazine, where his essays have won various awards.
Traveling from Minneapolis, Minn., Bures is available to speak on the following topics:
What is culture, and why does cultural diversity matter?
How do you know if you have a cultural syndrome?
The science of “the other” and how we tell the story of “us.”
Rage Against the machine: Why your body is not a car and your brain is not a computer.
Walden in the modern world: How to keep your creativity alive.
How to write about weird things and make a living at it.
Other topics available. To schedule, please contact him at frankbures at yahoo dot com.
From the 2017 Chicago Humanities Festival:
Praise for The Geography of Madness:
“Frank Bures has some of the widest (and wildest) curiosities of any writer out there. This is a man who truly wants to know the world, in all its strange and beautiful variations. He is fearless in his reporting, generous in his spirit, and brilliant in his prose. I would follow him anywhere.” —Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love
“With The Geography of Madness, Frank Bures has created a literary, thoughtful study that explores the connections between culture and psychology, storytelling and health. It’s also, to my knowledge, the most pleasant and least painful way to learn about penis theft.”
—Peter Hessler, author of Oracle of Bones: A Journey Through Time in China
“With the drive of an investigative reporter, a researcher’s patience, and a poet’s gift for words, Frank Bures teases out the logic and sanity behind madness. In going into the histories and psychologies of some of the world’s strangest maladies, he shows us that it takes a village to make a penis disappear.”
—Mukoma Wa Ngugi, author of Nairobi Heat
“Penis theft. Vampires. Black magic. These are not exactly prime ingredients for a hilarious, empathetic travel book, but Frank Bures has pulled off something incredible in The Geography of Madness. In demonstrating how culture-bound concepts of ‘madness’ and ‘sickness’ really are, he reminds us what we human beings have in common, which is to say, we’re all beautifully, fascinatingly nuts.”
—Tom Bissell, author of Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter
“In a world coming unstitched, Frank Bures travels the globe gathering threads, weaving the odd and the otherworldly into something whole. I would follow Bures to the far corners of the earth for his stories—finally, in The Geography of Madness, I can.” —Michael Perry, author of Population: 485—Meeting Your Neighbors One Siren at a Time