Phantom Limbs and Body Integrity Identity Disorder discusses the conditions of Phantom Limb Syndrome and Body Integrity Identity Disorder together for the first time, exploring examples from literature, film, and psychoanalysis to re-ground theories of the body in material experience.

The book outlines the ways in which PLS and BIID involve a feeling of rupture underlined by a desire for wholeness, using the metaphor of the mirror-box (a therapeutic device that alleviates phantom limb pain) to examine how fiction is fundamentally linked to our physical and psychical realities. Using diverse examples from theoretical and fictional works, including thinkers such as Sigmund Freud, Jacques Lacan, Maurice Blanchot, D.W. Winnicott, and Georges Perec, and films by Powell and Pressburger and Quentin Tarantino, each chapter offers a detailed exploration of the mind/body relationship and experiences of fragmentation, bodily ownership, and symbolic reconstitution. By tracing these concepts, the monograph demonstrates ways in which fiction can enable us to understand the psychosomatic conditions of PLS and BIID more thoroughly, while providing new ways of reading psychoanalysis, literary theory, and fictional works.

The first book to analyse BIID in relation to PLS, Phantom Limbs and Body Integrity Identity Disorder will be essential reading for academics and literary readers interested in the body, psychoanalysis, English literature, literary theory, film, and disability.

part 1I|86 pages

Why psychoanalysis and literature?

chapter 1|38 pages


chapter 2|24 pages

“We didn’t ask for this pain”

Case studies of BIID and PLS

chapter 3|11 pages

Science, literature, and psychoanalysis

part 87II|84 pages

Symbolic exchanges and reconstitutions

chapter 6|10 pages

The Red Shoes

chapter 7|12 pages


D.W. Winnicott

chapter 8|10 pages

Death Proof

chapter 9|13 pages

Almost artificial limbs

Perec’s W or The Memory of Childhood

chapter 10|15 pages

A psychoanalytic voyage

Perec and symbolic reconstitution

chapter 11|5 pages