If you didn’t manage to catch best-selling author Matt Haig when he was reading at Central Library over the summer, now’s your chance, at this, his penultimate date on a nationwide tour.
Author of a number of novels (including 2017’s How To Stop Time and 2010’s big-hitter The Humans, plus vampire novel The Radleys, The Possession Of Mr Cave, The Dead Fathers’ Club and The Last Family In England) and various children’s books (such as award-winning Shadow Forest and its sequel Runaway Troll, To Be A Cat, the Christmas books including Father Christmas And Me – currently being adapted for film by Studio Canal and Blueprint Pictures – and, most recently, The Truth Pixie), Matt Haig also manages to find time to dabble in more autobiographical non-fiction work.
Reasons To Stay Alive, described by Stephen Fry as “fabulous and astounding”, hit 49 weeks in the bestseller list, and was a Sunday Times number-one bestseller, a Richard And Judy Book Club pick and a Books Are My Bag Readers Award for Popular Fiction winner. Even our own Jeanette Winterson has offered up praise: “Matt Haig uses words like a tin-opener. We are the tin.” Out in 2016, the memoir gives a personal insight into how Matt Haig’s world caved in at the age of 24 as a result of chronic depression, years of anxiety and almost constant panic attacks, and offers up “the true story of how he came through crisis, triumphed over an illness that almost destroyed him and learned to live again”.
Now out on Canongate is Reasons To Stay Alive’s “poignant and natural follow-up”, Notes On A Nervous Planet, which Haig will be presenting at HOME with a reading, Q&A and book signing. The tome puts the lessons of the earlier one into practice, offering tried-and-tested advice on how to stay sane on a fast, nervous planet where we are encouraged to worry about “everything from world politics to our body mass index”.
Fancy feeling healthier, happier and more human again? Best get a ticket before they sell out…