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Matt Haig
Haig at Foyle's Bookstore, London February 2016
Haig at Foyle's Bookstore, London February 2016
Born 3 July 1975 (1975-07-03) (age 45)
Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England
Occupation Journalist, author
Alma mater University of Hull
Spouse Andrea Semple
Children 2

Matt Haig (born 3 July 1975) is an English novelist and journalist. He has written both fiction and non-fiction for children and adults, often in the speculative fiction genre.

Early life

Haig was born on 3 July 1975 in Sheffield. He studied English and History at the University of Hull.

Career

Haig is the author of both fiction and non-fiction for children and adults. His work of non-fiction, Reasons to Stay Alive, was a number one Sunday Times bestseller and was in the UK top 10 for 46 weeks. His bestselling children's novel, Father Christmas and Me, is currently being adapted for film, produced by Studio Canal and Blueprint Pictures.

His novels are often dark and quirky takes on family life. The Last Family in England retells Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part 1 with the protagonists as dogs. His second novel Dead Fathers Club is based on Hamlet, telling the story of an introspective 11-year-old dealing with the recent death of his father and the subsequent appearance of his father's ghost. His third adult novel, The Possession of Mr Cave, deals with an obsessive father desperately trying to keep his teenage daughter safe. His children's novel, Shadow Forest, is a fantasy that begins with the horrific death of the protagonists' parents. It won the Nestlé Children's Book Prize in 2007. He followed it with the sequel, Runaway Troll, in 2008.

Haig's vampire novel The Radleys, was published in 2011. In 2013, he published The Humans. It is the story of an alien who takes the identity of a university lecturer whose work in mathematics threatens the stability of the planet who must also cope with the home life which accompanies his task.

In 2017, Haig published How to Stop Time, a novel about a man who appears to be 40 but has, in fact, lived for more than 400 years and has met Shakespeare, Captain Cook and F. Scott Fitzgerald. In an interview with The Guardian, Haig revealed the book has been optioned by StudioCanal films, and Benedict Cumberbatch had been "lined up to star" in the film adaptation. Reasons to Stay Alive won the Books Are My Bag Readers' Awards in 2016 and How to Stop Time was nominated in 2017. In August 2018, he wrote lyrics for English singer and songwriter Andy Burrows's music album, the title of which was derived from Haig's book Reasons to Stay Alive.

The Midnight Library was adapted for radio and broadcast in ten episodes on BBC Radio 4 in December 2020.

Personal life

Haig is married to Andrea Semple; they have two children. He resides in Brighton, Sussex. He homeschools his children, and he is an atheist.

Works

Novels

  • The Last Family in England (Jonathan Cape, 2004); US title, The Labrador Pact
  • The Dead Fathers Club (Cape, 2006)
  • The Possession of Mr Cave (The Bodley Head, 2008)
  • The Radleys (Canongate Books, 2010)
  • The Humans (Canongate Books, 2013)
  • How to Stop Time (Canongate Books, 2017)
  • The Midnight Library (Canongate Books, 2020)

Children's books

  • Shadow Forest (2007); US title, Samuel Blink and the Forbidden Forestry
  • Runaway Troll (Cape, 2008); US title, Samuel Blink and the Runaway Troll
  • To Be A Cat (Atheneum, 2013)
  • Echo Boy (Bodley, 2014)
  • A Boy Called Christmas (Canongate Books, 2015)
  • The Girl Who Saved Christmas (Canongate Books, 2016)
  • Father Christmas and Me (Canongate Books, 2017)
  • The Truth Pixie (Canongate Books, 2018)
  • Evie and the Animals (Canongate Books, 2019)
  • The Truth Pixie Goes to School (Canongate Books, 2019)
  • Evie in the Jungle (Canongate Books, 2020)

Non-fiction

  • How Come You Don't Have An E-Strategy (Kogan Page, 2002)
  • Brand Failures (Kogan Page, 2003)
  • Brand Royalty (Kogan Page, 2004)
  • Brand Success (Kogan Page, 2011)
  • Reasons to Stay Alive (Canongate Books, 2015)
  • Notes on a Nervous Planet (Canongate Books, 2018)
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