Edinburgh author’s book on depression to be distributed free on World Book Night

By Press Office

An Edinburgh author’s book on depression is to be distributed free to care homes and prisons, public libraries, colleges, youth centres, mental health groups and other charities today (Monday 23 April) in a bid to get books into the hands of new readers as part of World Book Night.

Edited by Olivia Sagan, Head of Psychology and Sociology at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh, and James Withey The Recovery Letters is Quick Overview

an anthology of letters written by people who have recovered or are recovering from depression. Beginning ‘Dear You’, the letters are addressed to those who are currently affected by depression and are lived experience testimonies of life with, and sometimes through, the dark experience of depression.

With 1 in 4 people in the UK experiencing a mental health problem each year, research by the literary charity The Reading Agency, which is behind the initiative, shows that reading can increase empathy, improve relationships with others and reduce the symptoms of depression.

Olivia Sagan Said: “World Book Night is an inspired initiative that takes books to places where they can be accessed by people who otherwise might not normally read. Loneliness and depression can be interlinked. The Recovery Letters sends out messages of hope from people with first-hand experience of depression and are testament that recovery is possible. If our book helps just one person towards improving their mental health and wellbeing as a result of reading these heartfelt letters from those who have perhaps experienced the way they feel, then the initiative will have been a success.”

The Recovery Letters anthology comprising letters from people of all ages and walks of life is also a reminder that in life’s bleakest hours the power of writing is also formidable. Co-editor James Withey explains: “When I got out of the psychiatric hospital in March 2012 I started a blog and wrote the first Recovery Letter, it's here in the book, 'From James'. I started a twitter account and asked other people to write letters and things started to grow.”

Editors James Withey and Olivia Sagan are currently preparing Recovery Letters 2 on the experience of loneliness. They are seeking written letters by anyone who has lived experience of loneliness and is willing to write about it in the form of a ‘Dear You’ letter.

Guidelines on how to submit can be found on the Recovery Letters website: therecoveryletters.com.


Notes to Editor

Contact Maggie Wright on 07801 710360 / maggie.wright@mwa.co


The complete list of titles donated by publishers for World Book Night 2018:

Kith by Jo Bell (Nine Arches) Our Summer Together by Fanny Blake (Orion) Open by Gemma Cairney (Pan Macmillan) Dangerous Lady by Martina Cole (Headline) Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey (Penguin) After the Fire by Will Hill (Usborne) The Woman in Black by Susan Hill (Vintage) The Loney by Andrew Michael Hurley (John Murray) Gilded Cage by Vic James (Pan Macmillan) The Beach Wedding by Dorothy Koomson (Cornerstone) Satellite by Nick Lake (Hachette Children’s) Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart (Bonnier) You Don’t Know Me by Imran Mahmood (Michael Joseph) Like A Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun by Sarah Ladipo Manyika (Cassava Republic) My Everything by Katie Marsh (Hodder) One of us is Lying by Karen M McManus (Penguin Random House Children’s) At My Mother’s Knee by Paul O’Grady (Transworld) The Recovery Letters, Olivia Sagan & James Withey (Eds.) (Jessica Kingsley) The Detective’s Daughter by Lesley Thomson (Head of Zeus) My Name is Leon by Kit de Waal (Penguin) What the Dog Knows by Cat Warren (Scribe) Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World by Mark Williams and Danny Penman (Piatkus) Carry on Jeeves by PG Wodehouse (Cornerstone)


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