A lot has happened since The Midnight Library, Matt Haig’s seventh adult novel, was first published in the United States on September 29, 2020.
The world has continued to navigate a pandemic that has changed lives and jumbled priorities, which in itself may have quietly propelled this book onto the bestseller list for over 97 weeks. With a “sliding door” narrative twist, Haig allows the protagonist to immerse herself in a series of books containing alternate versions of her reality. “There has been a lot of introspection during lockdown,” the British author said in a telephone interview. think.”
Haig has also survived some interesting developments of his own. Shortly after the publication of The Midnight Library, at the age of 46, he was diagnosed with his ADHD and autism. This was “very strange” news, he said, but it kind of made sense, especially when he considered his enthusiasm for routine and the mechanics of his fiction. “All my books, including The Midnight Library, are about fish out of water,” he explained. “I always seem to write about people who seem to fit in, but for some reason they don’t.”
In his non-fiction, Haig has been candid about his struggles with mental health. His memoir, Reasons to Stay Alive, brought him out of a very deep depression and even tried to climb off a cliff. In it he wrote:
Haig admits: I find it very difficult to “look in the mirror”. I think it’s because I’m already feeling a little off myself from being different without understanding why.
Will Haig’s new perception influence future novels? We’re not sure, but he’s looking forward to getting back to writing after what he described as “a stock-buying year.” Until then, he’s working on self-compassion. Haig said. he added “In the old days, left-handed people were told to hold a pen in their right hand, but they were always left-handed. There are a lot of things that are pegged and that’s fine, so we just make more square holes.”
Elisabeth Egan is the editor of Book Review and author of “A Window Opens”.