Robyn Hollingworth Interview: My Mad Dad
Robyn Hollingworth is the bestselling author of My Mad Dad, her memoir of caring for her father after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. At 25 she was working as a fashion merchandiser/buyer in London, but took a sabbatical to move back to Wales to care for him. She spoke to Abigail Jaggers about the importance of talking about grief, receiving hundreds of messages from readers, and more:
What’s My Mad Dad about?
A journal I kept when my father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s
Had you done any preparation before becoming a carer for your father?
I did go into it a bit blind
Why did you want to publish the book now?
I didn’t feel there was much reporting from the side of a carer
Was it cathartic to go back through your diaries?
Obviously you’re revisiting things that are quite upsetting
My Mad Dad deals with grief in many different ways. Why do you think it’s important to talk openly about grief?
You find you learn a lot more about your grief by talking to other people about theirs
Have you had a lot of feedback from readers about the book?
Since the book was published I’ve had hundreds and hundreds of messages
How did you feel getting the feedback from carers?
When you put something out there of that nature you have a responsibility
What would you recommend for carers looking for support?
There is always someone out there, and there is always someone listening
You have lots of good experiences with carers and NHS staff throughout the book. Did you want to highlight this in My Mad Dad?
There are some people that do some utterly terrific work just caring for people
You’re going to be teaching writing memoirs at City University soon. Are you looking forward to that?
It’s always good, if you’ve gone through an experience, to share it
What are you working on at the moment?
It’s a comedy about death, which seems weird saying it now
Thank you very much to Robyn Hollingworth for speaking to us!
Do you think we should talk about grief more? Let us know in the comments.
If you’d like to find out more about Robyn Hollingworth or My Mad Dad, click here!