Episode 99 - Matt Haig: Part 4


The final part of This Writing Life's interview with Matt Haig (about Christmas, mental health, the internet) begins with Magic Tweets (about Rupert Murdoch), Tweeting addiction and the inveterate competitiveness of writers. Keep reading →

Episode 98 - Matt Haig: Part 3


Part 3 of This Writing Life's interview with Matt Haig changes tack from memories of Christmas past to consider Matt's experience of depression that inspired his non-fiction memoir Reasons to Stay Alive. We begin by discussing general attitudes towards mental health, not least among politicians, before exploring the effect that Reasons to Stay Alive has had on Matt and his readers. Keep reading →

Episode 97 - Matt Haig Trailer: On Reading vs Depression


A very happy new year to all! We open 2017 by returning back to 2016. This Writing Life's interview with Matt Haig was a game of two halves. For the first 45 minutes, we discussed Christmas, inspired by his excellent festive children's story, A Boy Called Christmas. In the second half, we turned our attention to depression inspired by Matt's excellent memoir about depression, anxiety and his own experience of mental illness, Reasons to Stay Alive. In this short taster, Matt recalls how reading helped him in the early days of recovery: what he read and what he found he could not read.

Part 3 and 4 will follow.

Episode 96 - Matt Haig: Part 2 - It’s a Writing Life Christmas Special


Part two of This Writing Life’s special Christmas interview with Matt Haig (for his Christmas fable A Boy Called Christmas) starts with the magic of stockings at the end of the bed, continues as a litmus test of Haig’s childhood happiness and heads towards the Haig family rituals. There are memories of teenage bad behavior before a return to Christmas as seen through the eyes of Haig’s own children. Haig talks films (above all, It’s a Wonderful Life) and books, before we explore the ‘Father’ of ‘Father Christmas’. There are discussions about festivity and feeling good, commerce at Christmas and what presents mean. Matt talks about balancing light and dark in A Boy Called Christmas for American audiences, before we end with how to survive the most wonderful time of the year.

A new year part 3 to follow in 2017.

Episode 95 - Matt Haig: Part 1 - It’s a Wonderful Writing Life Christmas Special


Matt Haig has many and diverse talents. Children's author, Young Adult novelist, non-fiction bestseller, for his extraordinary book on depression, Reasons to Stay Alive. Over the past two years, he has added Christmas storyteller to his CV. First with A Boy Called Christmas (2015), and now a sequel: The Girl Who Saved ChristmasKeep reading →


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