Join legendary journalist Sam Knight for the true story of a strange experiment – a journey into the oddest corners of 60s Britain and the outer edges of science and reason.
In 1966, John Barker, a dynamic psychiatrist working in an outdated British mental hospital, established the Premonitions Bureau to investigate psychic visions. He found a network of hundreds of correspondents, from clerks to ballet teachers – including two unnervingly gifted “percipients”. The New Yorker’s award-winning Sam Knight joins us with an enthralling true story of madness and wonder, science and the supernatural – a journal to the most powerful and unsettling reaches of the human mind.
Sam joins How To Academy in-person on the 7 June in conversation with the author of The Big Short and Flashboys, Michael Lewis. Find out more and get your tickets at howtoacademy.com
Praise for Sam Knight’s The Premonitions Bureau:
A fluent and enticing book, skilfully navigating the tricky and marginal subject of the paranormal; it is beautifully ordered, humane, capacious. — Hilary Mantel
I was knocked out by the precision and drama of it all, by the book’s comprehension of our deepest dreads and our relentless bid to control them. — Andrew O’Hagan
Take the addictive storytelling of Patrick Radden Keefe and mix it with the stranger-than-fiction stuff of a Jon Ronson podcast, and you’ll get Sam Knight’s must-read first book. ― Evening Standard
Occasionally disconcerting, completely compelling and beautifully written – Sam Knight will take you an unforgettable journey into a history of predicting the future. — Anil Seth
Wonderful . . . fascinating characters, stories and ideas — Mark Haddon
Enthralling: a work of inspired, tireless and deeply compassionate curiosity. — Helen Garner