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Mind on Fire
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A searing, immersive account of profound mental illness.

About the Author

Arnold Thomas Fanning was born in London and raised in Dublin. His stage plays include the acclaimed McKenna's Fort. Mind on Fire is his first book.

Reviews

Mind on Fire is a truly powerful, arresting, haunting account. Arnold Thomas Fanning has reckoned with the darkest matter of his heart and mind, and I challenge anyone not to be moved by that. -- Sara Baume
[A] painfully intense, courageous and gripping account of [Fanning's] journey to the underworld of madness and back. This is a brave and instructive book. * Irish Times *
In this strange and singular book, Arnold Thomas Fanning mercilessly excavates the infernal underworld of his own years of madness. As reminiscent as it occasionally is of John Healy's The Grass Arena, and even of Orwell's Down and Out in Paris and London, the book is ultimately not quite like anything else I've read, and brought me as close to the lived reality of mental illness as I have ever been. It's a significant achievement: a painful, inexorable work of autobiography, whose existence is its own form of redemption. -- Mark O'Connell
This is an extraordinary memoir about how it feels to be depressed, delusional, desperate * Observer *
Extraordinary. An account of mental illness, grief, delusions, homelessness, a fractured family relationship ... and all while trying to recover and create. Superb writing on a frequently difficult subject. * Sinead Gleeson *
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
Incredibly important -- Emilie Pine, author of Notes to Self
A spellbinding memoir that should prove both moving and hopefully cathartic for the reader * RTE Culture *
Wonderful -- Joseph O'Connor * Irish Times Books of the Year *
Told in tight and immediate first-person, and imbued with a startling momentum that ratchets unnervingly, Fanning's publishing debut ... is a significant achievement and should be a talking point in publishing this year * Irish Independent *
Fanning's debut book lays it on the line in a deeply personal and compelling chronicle of his descent into depression and his way back out. * RTE Guide *
Unsparingly direct, searing and honest ... It is gripping to read and must have been exhausting to live -- Prof Brendan Kelly * Medical Independent *
One of the most gripping and revealing memoirs I've read in a long time. A controlled and artful exploration of absolute loss of control, an unsettling and at times very moving reconstruction of a period of serious mental illness, Mind on Fire is a beautiful book about a terrifying thing. -- Mark O'Connell * Irish Times Books of the Year *
Gripping -- Sinead Gleeson * Irish Times Books of the Year *
Shocking -- Liz Nugent * Irish Times Books of the Year *
A ratcheting pace, a tight first-person immediacy, and utterly staggering to be a passenger over its entire warped course ... An indelible, ground-shaking account -- Hilary A White * Irish Independent, Memoir of the Year, Best Reads of 2018 *
Poignant, beautifully detailed memoir -- Sarah Gilmartin * Irish Times, Best Debuts of 2018 *
Brave and illuminating * Sunday Business Post *

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