A drink makes me feel better. For a bit. And then I feel worse, and the pain inside comes back. Worse than ever.
My name is Hannah. This is their story . . .
My name is Kate. I am Hannah’s mum. ‘If nothing matters more to a parent than their children’s health and happiness, how are you supposed to feel, and what are you supposed to do, when they’re sick and unhappy?’
My name is Vicki. I am Hannah’s little sister. ‘Why does she drink so much, when it is making her so ill, doing so much damage to her life? I don't get it.’
My name is Sophie. I am Hannah’s best friend. ‘I loved her to bits those times when she was chatty and fun and making me laugh or think about the world differently.’
My name is Dan. I was Hannah’s mum’s first boyfriend after her divorce. ‘I tried, I really tried. But there’s something wrong with that girl. If I’d have had any idea of what I was letting myself in for, I never would have asked Kate out.’
My name is Amanda. I am Sophie’s mother. ‘She was like the outsider insider of Sophie’s friendship group. I liked her though and being a parent, and a doctor, my instinct was to want to fix whatever it was that reduced her to this mess.’
Powerful and passionate, My Name Is . . . is the gripping story of a teenage girl’s descent into alcoholism and the impact it has on those around her. Deft and direct, the voices of Hannah’s family, friends and professionals shed a sometimes shocking, sometimes tender light on a life veering terrifyingly off course.
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This superb book is sad, terrifying and uplifting in equal measure. Every parent, every young man or woman, and anyone who 'likes a drink' should read it. -
The tenacity Campbell brought to bear in politics is matched here by his gripping inhabitation of his characters. Stunning, - Independent on Sunday
My Name Is... offers a compelling insight into addiction from the outside in, giving a 360-degree look at the cause and effect of the illness. It possesses an emotional weight for each speaker — an impressive feat when some of these characters feature for less than four pages. - Irish Examiner
It is a sad and terrifying story, well-researched and timely… Campbell’s idea of telling the story through the self-contained testimonies of every person who came into contact with Hannah during her spiral into self-harm is clever and affords the reader a 360 degree view of what it is to deal with a vulnerable deceitful alcoholic in denial… Campbell has taken the vilified, sprawling, drunken youths caricatured in tabloid headlines and, in one young girl, showed us the damaged human beings beneath. For that he deserves much credit. - The Times (Saturday Review)
A gripping account of an alcoholic teenage girl - Guardian
There is a touching candid quality about the characters in My Name Is… each one speaks with a breathtaking honesty, no matter how unsavoury or damaging it might be to hear - Nottingham Post
This is not a quasi-misery memoir. Instead, each chapter is told from the perspective of someone who crosses paths with the troubled teenager. There are 23 of these before the final, achingly sad missive from Hannah herself, which means a lot of characters to get through. But on the whole Campbell succeeds in allowing Hannah’s family, friends and, later, psychiatrists and magistrates, to tell her story. - Observer
Alastair Campbell was born in Keighley, Yorkshire in 1957, the son of a vet. After graduating from Cambridge University in modern languages, his first chosen career was journalism, principally with the Mirror Group, a career interrupted in the mid-80s by a nervous breakdown and the diagnosis of a drink problem. Campbell worked his way back to become a political editor and when Tony Blair became leader of the Labour Party, he asked Campbell to be his press secretary. He worked for Blair – first in that capacity, then as official spokesman and director of communications and strategy – from 1994 to 2003, and returned in 2005 to help Labour win a third election. He now splits his time between writing, speaking, consultancy and charity, as chairman of fundraising for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research, and a leading ambassador for the mental health campaign, Time to Change.
He lives in North London with his partner of 33 years, Fiona Millar. They have three children. His interests include running, cycling, bagpipes and Burnley Football Club. He has published five volumes of diaries, including the bestselling The Blair Years, a memoir on depression, The Happy Depressive, a novel about fame, Maya, and his first acclaimed novel about mental illness, All in the Mind.