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How Not to Kill Yourself

A Portrait of a Suicidal Mind

Clancy Martin

The last time Clancy Martin tried to kill himself was in his basement with a dog leash.

Weaving an intimate and unflinching account of his multiple suicide attempts with the personal experiences of those who have reached out to him over the years, Martin draws an insightful and, at times, comic portrait of the suicidal mind. He investigates the thinking of great writers who have attempted the unmentionable, from David Foster Wallace to Yiyun Li, and asks what philosophy has to say for and against suicide.

Both a disarming memoir and a cultural exploration of a hopeless state of mind, How Not to Kill Yourself allows us to grapple honestly with an enduring social taboo and shows that the desire to kill oneself – like other self-destructive impulses – is almost always temporary.

  • Publication date: April 20, 2023
  • ISBN: 9780861540488
  • RRP: £16.99
  • Pages: 368
  • Publication date: April 20, 2023
  • ISBN: 9780861540631
  • RRP: £9.99
  • Pages: 368


'The most honest, complicit, searing, and discomfiting book I’ve ever read about suicide (and I’ve read quite a few—out of purely scholarly interest, of course). All great narratives pose a battle between the force of life and the force of death; How Not To Kill Yourself does this as brilliantly and powerfully as any book I have read in quite some time. Exhilarating.'

David Shields, author of The Thing About Life Is That One Day You'll Be Dead

‘Bleak, funny, unforgiving… It’s written extremely finely, with wit and enviable self-control. A genuinely fresh, disconcerting voice.’

Zadie Smith on How to Sell

‘Dirty, greatly original, and very hard to stop reading.’

Jonathan Franzen on How to Sell

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