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Heavy Light By Horatio Clare

Heavy Light by Horatio Clare

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Heavy Light Summary

Heavy Light: A Journey Through Madness, Mania and Healing by Horatio Clare

A 'Book to look out for in 2021' in the Observer

Heavy Light is the story of a breakdown: a journey through mania, psychosis and treatment in a psychiatric hospital, and onwards to release, recovery and healing.

After a lifetime of ups and downs, Horatio Clare was committed to hospital under Section 2 of the Mental Health Act.

From hypomania in the Alps, to a complete breakdown and a locked ward in Wakefield, this is a gripping account of how the mind loses touch with reality, how we fall apart and how we can be healed - or not - by treatment. A story of the wonder and intensity of the manic experience, as well as its peril and strangeness, it is shot through with the love, kindness, humour and care of those who deal with someone who becomes dangerously ill.

Partly a tribute to those who looked after Horatio, from family and friends to strangers and professionals, and partly an investigation into how we understand and treat acute crises of mental health, Heavy Light's beauty, power and compassion illuminate a fundamental part of human experience. It asks urgent questions about mental health that affect each and every one of us.


'An extraordinary book: deeply moving, darkly funny and hugely powerful' Robert Macfarlane

'One of the most brilliant travel writers of our day takes us us now to that most challenging country, severe mental illness; and does so with such wit, warmth, and humanity, that, better acquainted with its terrors, we may better face our own' Reverend Richard Coles

'A record of the bravest, most perilous, most intrepid journey that any human being can ever make. It is stricken, moving, urgent, crucial . . . A luminous, beautiful achievement' Niall Griffiths

Heavy Light Reviews

Readers of Clare's game-changing memoir . . . will be struck by the fact that a mind so recently dominated by straight-to-DVD fantasies is now capable of reflecting on them with so much gentle wisdom and acute self-awareness. And in such beautiful, witty prose -- Helen Brown * Daily Telegraph *
What a gift...having such an articulate agent, reporting back from the far edges of the mind -- Megan Agnew * Sunday Times *
Clare brilliantly describes his mania . . . The picture he paints is often grim, but there is hope too . . . Gradually, shakily, and with the help of a therapist, Clare rebuilds -- Juanita Colson * Lady *
A shattering journey . . . remarkable -- Sheena Joughin * Times Literary Supplement *
Clare brilliantly describes his mania... But he has a wider purpose here. Following his discharge from hospital Clare sets out to explore alternatives to the lifetime of terrifyingly strong medication he has been prescribed -- Stephanie Cross * Lady *
Unforgettable -- Rory Sullivan * i *
Hard-hitting but tender-hearted . . . Clare thoughtfully and determinedly seeks to challenge the status-quo on treatment for mental health conditions -- Hannah Millington * Independent *
Clare is a ferociously gifted writer . . . Just as George Orwell's time in destitution exposed poverty when he was Down and Out in London and Paris so too does Horatio Clare's bravely brilliant and brilliantly brave book expose the failings of the mental health system, even as it intimates hope. In this it reminds one of a very different book, Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, which not only showed the problem of pesticides but acted as a clarion call . . . Hopefully the shining of a Heavy Light might do the same -- Jon Gower * Nation Cymru *
Compelling, beautifully-written and utterly devastating. A balm in itself -- Katie Law * Evening Standard *
A remarkable tribute both to the depths of human compassion and Clare's extraordinary gifts as an author, witness and guide -- Dan Richards * Geographical *
A superb and shining achievement . . . Heavy Light is an odyssey for our times, full of hope in an uncertain future . . . a life-changing experience -- Sue Brooks * Caught by the River *
Lucid, fluent, utterly unembarrassed . . . a forensic, yet tender account of a plummet into insanity, treatment at the - frequently gentle - hands of the government health service, and eventual redemption . . . a sad, uplifting, timely book -- Ed Peters * South China Morning Post *
An extraordinary book: deeply moving, darkly funny and hugely powerful. It travels hard country: mania, paranoia, the huge collateral damage of madness. It shows its readers, unforgettably, what it is like to see the world on a skewed plane. But the star by which it steers is, in the end and above all, love. This book confirms that Horatio Clare is among the most brilliant and compassionate writers of non-fiction I know -- Robert Macfarlane
A brave, lit-up account of going mad and getting better, that forensically tracks the footprints of both journeys towards a settlement with the self -- Jeanette Winterson
Horatio Clare, whose adventures in the Black Mountains, the Gulf of Bothnia, the Ethiopian Highlands, and the point in the Pacific Ocean furthest on earth from land, have made him one of the most brilliant travel writers of our day, takes us us now to that most challenging country, severe mental illness; and does so with such wit, warmth, and humanity, that, better acquainted with its terrors, we may better face our own -- Reverend Richard Coles

About Horatio Clare

Horatio Clare is the bestselling author of numerous books including the memoirs Running for the Hills and Truant and the travel books A Single Swallow, Down to the Sea in Ships, Orison for a Curlew, Icebreaker and The Light in the Dark. His books for children include Aubrey and the Terrible Yoot and Aubrey and the Terrible Ladybirds. Horatio's essays and reviews appear on BBC radio and in the Financial Times, the Observer and the Spectator, among other publications. He lives with his family in West Yorkshire.

Additional information

NGR9781784743529
9781784743529
1784743526
Heavy Light: A Journey Through Madness, Mania and Healing by Horatio Clare
New
Hardback
Vintage Publishing
20210304
352
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Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
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