A mental health nurse has been awarded one of the UK’s highest literary honors for his debut novel depicting a young boy and his descent into schizophrenia as he ages.
Nathan Filer won the 2013 Costa Book of the Year award for his novel The Shock of the Fall, known as Where the Moon Isn’t in the U.S. The book is narrated by a boy from Bristol, England from the time he is five until his early 20s. During that time his mental health deteriorates, in part because of the death of his younger brother.
However, one of the judges for the prize said the book is not all about schizophrenia.
“It is about grief and this is a subject we all have experience of,” judge Rose Tremain told The Guardian. “It is grief analyzed but treated absolutely without sentimentality.”
Filer–who is 33–already has a six-figure book deal with HarperCollins, but he says he plans to continue picking up occasional nursing shifts. He also told The Guardian that part of the purpose of his book came from a responsibility to not spread the myths of mental health.
Any other nurse writers among us? What do you think of the premise of Filer’s book? Is it something you’d want to read?