The book, How to Fail, happened by accident. After a difficult period in her personal life, Elizabeth Day flew to LA and spent her time opting to listen to podcasts over love songs. It was in California’s sunnier climate that she conjured up the concept of her own podcast, How to Fail. The book quickly followed.
“The whole premise of the podcast is that we can learn from when things go wrong.” Day invites notable figures to share their life failings and what that taught them. Since she started quizzing her guests, it's been downloaded more than 1.5 million times.
In her talk at Hay, she delved into her personal history of loss. Reading her chapter on her own miscarriage, the audience were simultaneously moved to giggles and tears, such was her honest and raw account. "I think you can fail and be sad about it but I think you can be at peace with it at the same time," she said.
Her book touches on subjects ranging from dating and working to sport and learning. "Failure is a fact," she said, "by acknowledging that it's a fact and that it happens to all of us, it loses its power."
If you are interested in more talks like this, please also see Dolly Alderton at 7pm on Sunday 26 May.
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