Reasons to Stay Alive
Matt Haig's accessible and life-affirming memoir of his struggle with depression, and how his triumph over the illness taught him to live.
From the author of How To Stop Time, coming February 2018 from Viking.
"Destined to become a modern classic." --Entertainment Weekly
Like nearly one in five people, Matt Haig suffers from depression. Reasons to Stay Alive is Matt's inspiring account of how, minute by minute and day by day, he overcame the disease with the help of reading, writing, and the love of his parents and his girlfriend (and now-wife), Andrea. And eventually, he learned to appreciate life all the more for it.
Everyone's lives are touched by mental illness: if we do not suffer from it ourselves, then we have a friend or loved one who does. Matt's frankness about his experiences is both inspiring to those who feel daunted by depression and illuminating to those who are mystified by it. Above all, his humor and encouragement never let us lose sight of hope. Speaking as his present self to his former self in the depths of depression, Matt is adamant that the oldest clich is the truest--there is light at the end of the tunnel. He teaches us to celebrate the small joys and moments of peace that life brings, and reminds us that there are always reasons to stay alive.
Shortlisted for Waterstones Book of the Year 2015.
* Maybe the most important book I've read this year -- SIMON MAYO * A life-saving book -- AMANDA CRAIG * Warm and engaging, and shot through with humour ... a valuable contribution to the conversation SUNDAY TIMES * Brings a difficult and sensitive subject out of the darkness and into the light -- MICHAEL PALIN * Full of wisdoms and warmth -- NATHAN FILER * A tender, candid, inspiring book about depression SUNDAY EXPRESS * Matt Haig is astounding -- STEPHEN FRY * Reasons to Stay Alive is wonderful. I read it in one sitting. Touching, funny, thought-provoking, with a huge heart. It should be read by anyone who has suffered, or known someone who has suffered (i.e. everyone) -- S J WATSON * Fascinating and beautifully written -- IAN RANKIN * Matt Haig uses words like a tin-opener. We are the tin -- JEANETTE WINTERSON * Matt Haig is a marvellous writer: limpid; tender; passionate. In this memoir (and it's short, barely 200 pages long), he manages to articulate, both the bleakness of depression and the means of dealing with it, little by little, day by day, without ever sounding maudlin, or self-indulgent, or preachy. For everyone who has ever felt the snap of the black dog's teeth, this book is wise, funny, affirming and redemptive. Sometimes depression can be like falling into a wordless pit. Matt Haig finds the words. And he says them for all of us -- JOANNE HARRIS * Thoughtful, honest and incredibly insightful -- JENNY COLGAN * Brilliant and salutary ... should be on prescription -- REV. RICHARD COLES * For anyone who has faced the black dog, or felt despair, this marvellous book is a real comfort, dealing sympathetically with depression, written with candour and from first-hand experience. I think it is a small masterpiece. It might even save lives -- JOANNA LUMLEY * A really great read, and essential to our collective well-being -- JO BRAND * Quite simply brilliant BOOKMUNCH * A heart-breaking account of a young man experiencing debilitating depression but comes with a surprising light touch SUNDAY MAIL * I feel like someone else in the world understands me now. I feel a bit less alone, a bit less scared, a bit less guilty and anxious and burdened LITTLE WHITE LIBRARY * The amount of passages I've underlined is a real testament to his skills as a writer THE WHITE JOURNAL * A life-affirming and quietly joyful read CONNAUGHT TELEGRAPH
Matt Haig is the author of six novels, including the bestselling The Last Family in England, which has been optioned by Brad Pitt's production company, The Radleys, which was selected for Channel 4's TV Book Club and was voted the winner of the series in 2011 and The Humans, a World Book Night 2014 title. His works have been translated into over twenty languages, and he has also written award-winning books for children. He lives in Brighton.