A beautifully written, devastatingly intense account of madness – and recovery, to the point where he has not had any serious illness for over a decade and has become an acclaimed playwright. Fanning conveys the consciousness of a person living with mania, psychosis and severe depression with a startling precision and intimacy. Mind on Fire is the gripping, sometimes harrowing, and ultimately uplifting testament of a person who has visited hellish regions of the mind.
But the book is more than that: it is also the story of being a writer, and a narrative weaving its way through the book is the story of how he as a writer negotiated a creative career while suffering from a serious mental illness.
What does it means to be creative and to live with a diagnosis of a serious mental illness. How, if at all, do these two elements interact? And can being diligent in maintaining mental health allow creativity to flourish?