Anna Spargo-Ryan – Melbourne author of A Kind of Magic, The Gulf and The Paper House





“No one’s writing like Anna Spargo-Ryan right now.”
 – Benjamin Law, writer of everything

“… a wonderful, wide-ranging feat.”
 – Books + Publishing

“This incredible memoir from Anna Spargo-Ryan is a gift to us all …”
 – Jill Stark, author of When You’re Not OK

“The magic in this necessary and beautiful book is how deftly Spargo-Ryan shines her light on life’s dark materials to offer comfort and inspiration to the rest of us. A must read.”

– Sarah Krasnostein, author of The Trauma Cleaner & The Believer

“Anna Spargo-Ryan writes with the kind of searing insight and beauty that both shatters your soul and also pieces it back together. I hope she never stops.”

– Clementine Ford, author of Boys will be Boys and How We Love

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.

“… holy fucking shit, [she] can write.”

– Jess Rudd, writer & business legend

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.

“A Kind of Magic should be read by anyone wanting to understand mental illness, and for anyone with mental illness wanting to be understood.”
 – Kylie Maslen, author of Show Me Where it Hurts

“A Kind of Magic has achieved something quite marvellous … vitally, pulsingly alive.”
 – Fiona Wright, author of Small Acts of Disappearance and The World Was Whole