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A Kind of Magic cover art

A Kind of Magic

Written by: Anna Spargo-Ryan
Narrated by: Anna Spargo-Ryan
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Publisher's Summary

Where do mental illness stories begin?

Anna's always had too many feelings. Or not enough feelings—she's never been quite sure. Debilitating panic. Extraordinary melancholy. Paranoia. Ambivalence. Fear. Despair.

From anxious child to terrified parent, mental illness has been a constant. A harsh critic in the big moments—teenage pregnancy, divorce, a dream career, falling in love—and a companion in the small ones—getting to the supermarket, feeding all her cats, remembering which child is which.

But between therapists' rooms and emergency departments, there's been a feeling even harder to explain … optimism.

In this sharp-eyed and illuminating memoir, award-winning writer Anna Spargo-Ryan pieces together the relationships between time, mental illness, and our brain as the keeper of our stories. Against the backdrop of her own experience, she interrogates reality, how it can be fractured, and why it's so hard to put it back together.

Powerfully honest, tender and often funny, A Kind of Magic blends meticulous research with vivid snapshots of the stuff that breaks us, and the magic of finding ourselves again.

©2022 Anna Spargo-Ryan (P)2022 W. F. Howes Ltd and Ultimo Press

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  • P Newbery-Thornton
  • 29-12-22

Superb, Thank You!!!

I got a lot of identification! Being ADHD, dyslexic and struggled with mental health and substance abuse all my life I fully understand the wanting to maintain how you feel at the moment. I'm also 16 years sober, so the worst times currently are still better than the best times from earlier life! Thank you for sharing your story!

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  • Jenny OKeefe
  • 10-10-22

A masterpiece

Anna Spargo-Ryan is smart, funny, fun and kind. Her razor sharp wit is as much a part of her as her skin, and how much of a friend she is to all of us traversing the laneways of mental illness. This is a triumphant book about the nuances of memory, trauma and hope - Spargo-Ryan is the victor in this book: buoyed with love and a desire to live.

My sentences are all running together because I have too many thoughts and it’s not possible to articulate them properly. I feel protected and held, having spent time in this life held in this phenomenal book. I am so very glad Anna wrote this, and it is a shining light of privilege to have been able to hear her read it to me.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 24-12-22

A memorial memoir

Anna weaves a personal story of mental illness in such a way that you think you a talking to a friend really well written!

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  • Serena Nathan
  • 24-12-22

Stunningly powerful

As someone halfway through a masters of counselling, Anna’s book should be on the curriculum. Her succinct, thoughtful writing describes the human experience of mental health challenges beautifully.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 15-12-22

Raw look at mental health

I absolutely loved this book. As someone who lives with ASD/ADHD there were so many times I was just screaming “Yes! This!” when listening while driving to work. I wish I could get everyone who’s close to me to read this.

Also as a health professional, it was both saddening but not surprising the barriers spoken about for receiving the right help. Between the narrators own personal struggle to seek it “Am I even sick enough”; to the socio-economic barriers that come with even getting a diagnosis; to the fundamental misunderstanding of mental illness by a lot of health professionals - this is something I think all health professionals need to read. I often find myself trying to advocate for clients in letters to their GP but feel it falls on deaf ears.

Thank-you.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 13-12-22

Powerful and breathtaking

Relatable in some experiences but so far in others. relisting to end to capture

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  • T
  • 11-12-22

Absolutely the best autobiography I’ve read on mental health

Anna’s amazing writing and honesty in this book incredibly resonated with me and my family members in regards to mental illness.
Her wit and skill will have you enthralled!
Again thank you Anna for writing this book!!!!

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  • Jo
  • 28-11-22

Magical!

The true magic of this book is not in the words and phrases (although they’re pretty damn good) but in the essence of Anna that brought them to life. And, of course, the narration by Anna could not be anything but perfect. It will stay with me for a long time.

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  • Bins
  • 24-10-22

Magic Level Unlocked

Anna has a voice she can use all days of the week. This book is really, really important. It's truth, it's "uncut joy" (my new favourite term) and it's a dissection of a flawed mental health system and how it's still possible to live. One of Anna's key messages is that it is okay to not have a cure, to always be in therapy of one sort or another. This book is a proper blessing, we are so lucky Anna is here.