Matthew Quick on Jung, heartbreak, and healing in his new novel We Are the Light.

Nov 3, 2022

Photo Credit: Alicia Bessette

Matthew Quick, author of The Silver Linings Playbook, shares himself and his new book, We Are the Light. Writer’s block led Quick to This Jungian Life podcast, analysis, and letter writing as a literary device. Letters free us even as the privacy of the page dares us to reveal ourselves, risk intimacy, and express our longing to be received. Lucas, the main character, rediscovers himself through faithful letters to his former Jungian analyst after a movie theater shooting takes 18 lives, including his wife’s. Fragile, valiant, and humorously naive, Lucas Goodgame plays the game of life that Jung termed individuation. Lucas plays with all his heart, and his alliance with an alienated teen ignites the magic of healing in surprising ways. Did Quick create Lucas—or was Lucas waiting for Quick to unblock and let him in? Our conversation sheds light on the relationship between author and character, creativity and healing, Jungian analysis and soul. This book is about the angels and grace that lead us from grieving to living—and love.


Learn more about Matthew Quick: https://matthewquickwriter.com/

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Purchase a copy of We Are the Light https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1668005425?tag=simonsayscom


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  1. Simcha

    Great interview – and I just finished the book which was amazing (and devastating).

    I wonder if J. Lee might reply here: He mentioned a therapist who added another element to the classic trauma reactions of flight, fight, freeze, plus fawning. It’s how men might react when feeling under threat – was it posing?

    I’d love to get the name of this therapist in order to read more about his discovery.


  2. Chris McDonell

    I really enjoyed this podcast and was inspired to buy We Are the Light. What a fine book, and though the depth of grief caught me by surprise, this does feel like a book of healing for the time we are in. Thank you, Matthew Quick, for introducing Jungian insights throughout this powerful story, and thanks to This Jungian Life for the interview and great conversation on writing and Matthew’s personal journey.
    I was surprised when it seemed your group wondered if this was the first time a Jungian analyst played such a significant role in a novel. Esteemed Canadian novelist Robertson Davies wrote The Deptford Trilogy of books in the early 1970s and the second book, The Manticore, is a gripping story primarily told through a character’s Jungian analysis in Switzerland. The first book, Fifth Business, is a man’s life story subtly structured around Jung’s theories of individuation, but in an entertaining tale. All of Davies’ prodigious, informative and entertaining writing reflects his admiration of Jung’s insights. Highly recommended. But I look forward to seeing what Matthew Quick writes next!


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