Arnold Thomas Fanning had his first experience of depression during adolescence, following the death of his mother. Some ten years later, an up-and-coming playwright, he was overcome by mania and delusions.
Thus began a terrible period in which he was often suicidal, increasingly disconnected from family and friends, sometimes in trouble with the law, and homeless in London. Drawing on his own memories, the recollections of people who knew him when he was at his worst, and medical and police records, Arnold Thomas Fanning has produced a beautifully written, devastatingly intense account of madness – and recovery, to the point where he has not had any serious illness for over a decade and has become an acclaimed playwright. Fanning conveys the consciousness of a person living with mania, psychosis and severe depression with a startling precision and intimacy.
Mind on Fire is the gripping, sometimes harrowing, and ultimately uplifting testament of a person who has visited hellish regions of the mind. ‘Arnold Thomas Fanning offers the most vivid and unflinching window into the mind of someone who is in the throes of madness … It was like nothing I’d read before’ Rick Edwards’Mind on Fire is a truly powerful, arresting, haunting account.
Shortlisted for the Wellcome Book Prize 2019