A year and a half after the COVID-19 pandemic began, we are still reckoning with the traumas of isolation, fear and loss. Although the world is beginning to return to normal, nothing feels quite the same as before.
“Often in modern life, we’re so overcrowded, we’re so overloaded with stuff … Often it’s about taking away some of what’s there and stripping it away to an acoustic, unplugged version of ourselves.” –Matt Haig, Author of “The Comfort Book”
In his latest work, “The Comfort Book,” author Matt Haig confronts his own struggles with mental health. The book includes a collection of notes, short stories and personal letters that he wrote to his future self.
Listen: Author Matt Haig on mental health during the pandemic.
Matt Haig is the author of The New York Times bestseller “The Midnight Library” and the memoir “Reasons to Stay Alive.” Haig has also written several other novels and children’s books.
His latest book, “The Comfort Book,” is an intimate glimpse into Haig’s own mental health journey. He explains that he began writing during a mental health crisis in young adulthood. “I was very bad about talking about my mental health or verbalizing it to anybody … Just the act of writing down what I was feeling became very therapeutic,” he says. “I’d occasionally … write a little note to my future self or even to my past self to remind myself of how far I’ve come.”
Haig says he was compelled to formulate his personal notes into a book when the COVID-19 pandemic began. “On top of this physical pandemic, we’re also facing a mental health crisis,” he says. He hopes that his book will help readers cope with the transition we find ourselves in as the pandemic winds down. He explains, “Often in modern life, we’re so overcrowded, we’re so overloaded with stuff … Often it’s about taking away some of what’s there and stripping it away to an acoustic, unplugged version of ourselves.”
Web story written by Molly Ryan