Matt Haig biography

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Matt Haig
Photo: Jerry Bauer

Matt Haig

Matt Haig Biography

In the author's own words:

I am a writer. The stuff I've written includes novels, screenplays, children's novels and journalism. My novels have now been translated in 29 languages.

My first novel, The Last Family in England (2004) was a UK bestseller. It was an honour when one of my favourite writers, Jeanette Winterson, called it 'among the great animal books.' It was a Daily Mail Book Club selection, and the film rights have been sold to Brad Pitt's production company. The very talented New Zealand film-maker Taika Waititi has written a brilliant screenplay and plans to direct the film.

Since that book I've written The Dead Fathers Club (2006) and The Possession of Mr Cave (2008), which have been translated into ten languages. The last one is still the darkest thing I've ever written, by quite a long way. Again, an excellent screenplay for that has been written by Brock Norman Brock.

The Radleys, won an ALA Alex Award in America, has been shortlisted for the Portico prize and nominated for the Carnegie Medal, and has been translated into 29 languages most recently Lithuania. It won the TV Book Club Summer Read. I have written the screenplay with the help of the (now chopped) UK Film Council, which is being produced into a film by Alfonso Cuaron and BBC Films. It was written as an adult novel, but in addition to the Canongate edition there is a young adult edition available in the UK published by Walker Books.

However, I have written some children's books. My first, Shadow Forest,won the Nestle/Smarties Prize, the Blue Peter Book of the Year Award (2009) and eight regional awards. Both Shadow Forest and it's sequel The Runaway Troll are being re-packaged and re-published for release in the UK in 2013. This will coincide with the launch of the paperback edition of my new kids book, To Be a Cat.

I was born in Sheffield, Yorkshire in 1975. Since then I have lived in Nottinghamshire, Ibiza and London. I studied English and History at Hull University and then did an MA at Leeds. I live in Brighton with the writer Andrea Semple and our children Lucas and Pearl. And in 2009, I won the Yorkshire Young Achievers 'Achievement in the Arts' Award.

From the author's website, 2018

Matt Haig's website

This bio was last updated on 01/23/2018. In a perfect world, we would like to keep all of BookBrowse's biographies up to date, but with many thousands of lives to keep track of it's simply impossible to do. So, if the date of this bio is not recent, you may wish to do an internet search for a more current source, such as the author's website or social media presence. If you are the author or publisher and would like us to update this biography, send the complete text and we will replace the old with the new.

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Interview

Matt Haig talks about the challenges he faced as an author in re-imagining Shakespeare's Hamlet in his novel The Dead Fathers Club.

In The Dead Fathers Club, you have chosen to reimagine not merely a classic but arguably the classic work of English literature. Where does one get the daring to wrestle with a giant, and how did you go about making Shakespeare’s story into your own?
Well, I didn’t begin with a conscious desire to rewrite Hamlet. I began with the desire to tell a story about grief from a child’s perspective and I found myself gravitating increasingly toward these grand Shakespearean themes. And yes, it’s a massive risk, and I’m not the one to judge if I’ve pulled it off. But I think all writers feel the ghosts of literature breathing down their neck, so I figured it might as well be Shakespeare looking over my shoulder as anyone else.

In your opinion, how important is it to your readers’ enjoyment that they have read or reread Hamlet recently?
My intention was to write a story that connects with people emotionally and hopefully that connection works the same with or without an in-depth knowledge of Hamlet. After all, Shakespeare himself was the king of rewrites, and Hamlet itself echoes earlier vengeance stories.

One of the greatest challenges a writer faces is sustaining a narrative voice that differs ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Matt Haig at BookBrowse
How to Stop Time jacket The Humans jacket The Radleys jacket The Possession of Mr. Cave jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Matt Haig but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Niccolò Ammaniti

    Niccolò Ammaniti

    Niccolò Ammaniti was born in Rome in 1966. He is the author of three novels, as well as a collection of short stories. At thirty-four, he was the youngest ever winner of the prestigious Viareggio-Repaci prize for I'm Not... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Dead Fathers Club

    Try:
    I'm Not Scared
    by Niccolò Ammaniti

  • Jodi Lynn Anderson

    Jodi Lynn Anderson

    Jodi Lynn Anderson is the New York Times bestselling author of Peaches, Tiger Lily, and the popular May Bird trilogy. She lives in Asheville, N.C., with her husband, her son, and an endless parade of stray pets. (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    How to Stop Time

    Try:
    Midnight at the Electric
    by Jodi Lynn Anderson

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