Matthew Twigg

Matthew Twigg

Matthew Twigg lives with his wife and two children near Oxford, where he works as an editor for an academic publisher. He completed a PhD in 2015 on the topic of ancient Gnostic literature. His thesis was adapted and published as The Valentinian Temple: Visions, Revelations, and the Nag Hammadi Apocalypse of Paul (2022) and is available from obscure specialist libraries everywhere. He enjoys reading, spending time with his young family, sleeping in past 6am, and staring at walls of books. His favourite TV show is Breaking Bad. His favourite novel is The Secret History by Donna Tartt. His favourite short story collection is Tenth of December by George Saunders.


Q: What is the first book you remember reading or having read to you as a child?

A: They weren’t the very first books I read as a child, but the Goosebumps books were the first ones that got me really hooked. My mum would take me to the same shop each week which had row after row of them, and I’d get to pick any one I liked. I recall being especially terrified by an evil snowman that lived on top of a mountain. Weird. Just Googled it, it’s called Beware, the Snowman. You can’t say R.L. Stine didn’t try to warn me!


Q: Do you have a favourite quote? (From a book, film, song, speech…)

A: ‘He burned the candle at both ends, and it often shone a lovely light.’ I don’t know who said it first, but I heard it said of Christopher Hitchens after he died. Also, from my high-school history teacher as my best friend pretended to scour his exercise book for some item of homework he knew full well he hadn’t done. My mate said, ‘I know it’s in here somewhere.’ To which my history teacher replied, ‘All of human knowledge is in there, all you’ve got to do is rearrange the letters!’ Is that true? Whatever, it sounds good. It’s like kabbalah meets Douglas Adams. Ooh, Douglas Adams, there’s an author I’d time travel to meet!


Q: What superpower would you like to have and why?

A: Time travel would be very cool, assuming it was disastrous-consequence free. But let’s face it, the power to produce happiness, in yourself and others, spontaneously – now that’s the dream.


Q: If you could teleport yourself anywhere, real or fictional, where would it be and why?

A: Assuming it didn’t kill me (lack of air, etc), I’d like to visit the very edge of the universe. Does it have edges? Sort of, you know, peer over the side? Or watch the Big Bang. To bear witness to some mad celestial event, at any rate, would be cool. Why? Probably some deep-seated desire to feel like a god, or something. Let’s not pull too hard at that thread.