Will Elliott Interview

Will Elliott had great success with his debut novel, The Pilo Family Circus, and now has his second book about to be released.  This new one, Strange Places, is a memoir, with the main subject being Elliott's schizophrenia.  The author spoke to Owen Richardson in "The Age".

In his late teens and early 20s Elliott underwent two psychotic episodes, the second of which ended with his being diagnosed as schizophrenic. Now 30, Elliott hasn't experienced a relapse and has decided to tell the story, at some cost to his present comfort.

"To go back and immerse myself in it, and especially the first symptoms in the early days, it was embarrassing for me," Elliott says. "It was the opposite of pleasant nostalgia, to keep going back over that and checking that it was all arranged properly was the worst part for me. I don't know how it is going to be having other people reading these intimate and not exactly flattering details."

One of the things Elliott says he is uncomfortable about revealing is his conviction that various members of his family were a threat to him; at one point he was on his way to see his father and put a pair of scissors in his pocket in case he got attacked, and there was a long period when he thought the song lyrics his older brother was writing for their heavy metal band were a series of attacks on him.

Appealingly but rather unreasonably, perhaps, Elliott is worried about how this might come across: "You could argue that that was just a symptom and not a sign of ill character, but it still makes me feel a bit squeamish."

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on May 28, 2009 9:54 AM.

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