Austin Ratner is an M.D.-turned-writer who has authored four books of both fiction and non-fiction. Much of his non-fiction work has been devoted to mental health advocacy and includes a book-length study of the history of psychoanalysis and a public health proposal published in The Lancet. His work has appeared in many national publications, including The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times Magazine, which selected his essay “Sidewalk Phantom” as one of their 16 all-time best Lives columns. He has been profiled by The New York Times and interviewed about his work on the BBC and in Harpers Magazine, Scientific American, Discover Magazine, The Guardian, and many other places. He is a member of the American Psychoanalytic Association’s Committee on Public Information and serves on the board of the Psychotherapy Action Network.
His fiction, which includes two novels, often revolves around doctors and medical themes. It has been honored with the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature, the Missouri Review fiction prize, and a fellowship at the Sun Valley Writers’ Conference. He teaches a master class in fiction writing at the Sackett Street Writers’ Workshop in Brooklyn, where he lives with his wife and two sons. He earned his M.D. from Johns Hopkins Medical School and attended the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.