Matt Haig biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Matt Haig
Photo: Jerry Bauer

Matt Haig

Matt Haig Biography

Matt Haig's writing has appeared in The Guardian, The Sunday Times, The Independent, and The Sydney Morning Herald. The Dead Fathers Club was his American debut but his second published novel following The Last Family in England (2004), a reworking of Henry IV, Part I from the point of view of a black Labrador named Prince.

Shadow Forest, his first book for children, was published in the UK in May 2007; and in the USA as Samuel Blink and the Forbidden Forest in June 2007 His next book for adults was The Possession of Mr Cave in May 2008, followed by The Radleys.

He now lives in Leeds but grew up in Newark-on-Trent, where he went to a school much like Philip's in The Dead Fathers Club.

Matt Haig's website

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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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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.
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  • 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

  • Rachel DeWoskin

    Rachel DeWoskin

    Rachel DeWoskin's fourth book, the critically acclaimed novel, Blind, was published in August, 2014. Her most recent novel, Big Girl Small, (FSG 2011) received the 2012 American Library Association's Alex Award and ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Dead Fathers Club

    Try:
    Big Girl Small
    by Rachel DeWoskin

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