How to follow a bestselling memoir about depression? With a novel about a 400-year-old adventurer …

Matt Haig and I meet in a flat in London, the morning after the terrorist attack at the Manchester Arena. Typically, he has already spent several hours battling racists and trolls on Twitter (he has a very large following), but he doesn’t seem stressed. “I’m actually quite relaxed; I like this period just before I get really neurotic [about the launch of a new book],” he laughs. As for social media: “I tweet more when I’m writing more ... I’ve got quite a distracted brain anyway.”

Haig is probably best known for his 2015 book Reasons to Stay Alive (it was in the top 10 bestseller lists for nearly a year) – a warm and moving memoir-cum-self-help book about his first descent into depression, aged 24, and his subsequent efforts to climb out of it. Haig is also the author of seven novels for adults, seven books for children and various business books, but his latest is a genre-defying novel called How to Stop Time. Its hero is Tom Hazard, an unremarkable history teacher at a London comprehensive, who lives with a secret: he has a rare condition that makes him age very slowly; he may not...


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Mental health is a level of psychological well-being, or an absence of a mental disorder; it is the "psychological state of someone who is functioning at a satisfactory level of emotional and behavioral adjustment".

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