NPR

How The Author Of 'Midnight Chicken' Unexpectedly Built A Life Worth Living

Ella Risbridger was suicidally depressed when she roasted a chicken and ended up writing an uplifting, genre-bending cookbook that reads like a magical mix of memoir, novel and self-help book.
A suicidal depression almost ended Ella Risbridger's life, but the London poet and journalist instead ended up writing an uplifting cookbook that promises to "make you fall in love with the world again." Source: Courtesy of Gavin Day

Five years ago, Ella Risbridger found herself lying on the floor of her London apartment, staring at a bag of chicken hanging from the back of a kitchen chair. The poet and journalist, then 21, was deeply, suicidally depressed. But instead of ending her life, she ended up roasting that bird — and writing Midnight Chicken, an uplifting cookbook that promises "to make you fall in love with the world again."

Perhaps even more remarkable is that she finished writing the book, a project she ultimately credits with lifting her out of depression, in the dying days of her romantic partner and writing champion.

Such messianic promises may be the stuff of antidepressant commercials. But this heartfelt collection of recipes and reflections on moments worth living is stirring real hope, joy and glowing reviews from cookbook authors, home cooks and even non-cooks.

Bestselling author Nigella Lawson calls a "manual for living and a declaration of

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