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.
Horatio Clare’s books include Orison For A Curlew, The Light in the Dark: A Winter Journal, A Single Swallow and Down to the Sea in Ships. He has also recorded a series of different walks for BBC Radio 3.
An extraordinary book: deeply moving, darkly funny and hugely powerful [...] This book confirms that Horatio Clare is among the most brilliant and compassionate writers of non-fiction I know. - Robert Macfarlane on Heavy Light
From the slums of Cape Town to the palaces of Algiers, through Pygmy villages where pineapples grow wild, to the Gulf of Guinea where the sea blazes with oil flares, across two continents and fourteen countries - this epic journey is nothing to swallows, they do it twice a year.
In the winter of 1705 the young Johann Sebastian Bach, then unknown as a composer, set off on a long journey by foot to Lubeck, a distance of more than 250 miles. This journey was a pivotal point in the life of the great composer. In Something of his Art, Horatio Clare follows in his footsteps.
Deals with two container ships on their epic voyages across the globe and experiences unforgettable journeys. This book reveals the history and incident, seafarers unfold the stories of their lives, and a portrait of the oceans and their human subjects emerges.