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E W A N    M O R R I S O N

The official website of the writer

Book trailer for How To Survive Everything. Harper Perennial. 15th November 2022

How to survive everything

My dad taught us to be prepared for whatever was coming. He said we should know the facts about how long we could survive without food, water or fresh air, and to remember that we couldn’t live at all without hope. It was better, he said, to be ahead of the game. Better to be ten years too early than one minute too late.

That’s why he did what he did, on that morning …

Inspired by her father’s advance planning and her own ingenuity and courage, this is one teenage girl’s survival guide for navigating life under a new, even more deadly pandemic from the confines of a survivalist compound. Will she ride out the collapse of everything she knows, and how can she save her family – and sanity?



"“[An] outstanding if often disturbing thriller... Morrison succeeds in making readers empathize with Haley even as she admires the “genius” underlying her father’s criminal behavior. This elegantly conceived and written novel provides an unforgettable interrogation of whether coming to terms with one’s own family always involves a degree of insanity. Morrison is a writer to watch.”

Publishers weekly

“An entertaining tale of doom with clever plot twists and grotesque humour"

Berlingske - Denmark. **** review

“What an extraordinarily wonderful and daring novel this is. It questions everything we are supposed to hold dear - truth, family, love, the purpose of life itself. Through the shallow thinking and petty bickerings of his hopeless, ever hopeful, messed-up, insanely normal characters, Ewan Morrison tells a story with profound implications for us all. Claustrophobic, horrifying, frightening, intriguing, wise and daft, it’s a book full of sadness and humour and, even at its craziest, of great beauty.  


James Robertson  

This is a seriously excellent novel.

Irvine Welsh, 25/3/21 

“I wasn’t sure there could be a great pandemic novel.

Here it is.”

Ian Rankin, 26/2/21

A brilliant, intriguing, harrowing, illuminating story.

Says as much about conspiracy thinking and information-quicksand and paranoia as it does about pandemics, technology and human apathy.

Tim Minchin 19/3/21

 “ The funniest thing about this book is that it is funny... It takes a novelist as humane and wry as Morrison to find in (survivalism) a very weird redemption. A skewed comedy of manners — as if The Good Life had been rewritten by George A. Romero. The novel’s ingenuity... is in keeping the reader on tiptoes.

Stuart Kelly, THE SPECTATOR 24/3/21

“A terrific and gripping story… a masterclass in storytelling … echoes of Salinger’s Holden Caulfield … Haley is a triumph … often very funny … It’s unusual for a dystopian novel to be rich in humanity, but this one is. … Morrison has been recognised as the best or certainly most interesting Scottish novelist of his generation, and this is the best book he has yet written.”


Allan Massie, Scotsman 24/2/21

 “Exciting and terrifying … bouts of black comedy … a bold and compelling book by a writer whose creative risks … pay huge dividends.”

Malcolm Forbes, The Herald  6/03/21

“A riot to read….occasionally extremely funny, the plot twists and turns at a spanking pace.”


Charlotte Metcalf, Breakout Culture 24/2/21


"Urgent and exciting, harnessing our current global anxiety with a beautifully observed family drama."


Atom Egoyan


“Terrifying … a terrifically written thriller that puts a very contemporary dysfunctional family at the heart of a very contemporary dystopian reality.”


Lynda Obst, Producer of Interstellar


“How To Survive Everything is a gritty and (tragically) cool novel. The collision of a broken family and a global pandemic, it reads as a survival guide and feels like (is) a warning.”

David Shields


“Acutely realised and perfectly pitched … poignant, heart-rending and hilarious … This is a beautiful book in many ways … an exploration of love in all its guises, emerging, enduring, failed, set against an all too real dystopian setting, full of broken people trying to endure. Highly recommended.”

The Literary Shed, 02/03/2021


“One of our best living authors, his voice is unique, his style is magnificent and his imagination knows no bounds … Terrifying and harrowing, yet also deeply touching … Most certainly a novel of our time. One that will stay with me, and haunt me.”

Anne Cater, Random Things Through My Letterbox, March 1, 2021


 “Brilliant. A thrilling conspiracy story [with] gallows humour. The story is rich in allusion and multiple meanings which makes it such a delight to read. The narrative voice is so powerful, original and immediate.”

Claire Dobbin. Chair - Melbourne International Film Festival.


“A terrific read... a family drama unlike any other. Absolutely, a novel for our times. There are few people who write better about the family and relationships…if anyone was going to write a great lockdown novel it was going to be Ewan Morrison. Dark and detailed... an exceptional novel.”

 Alistair Braidwood. Scots Wha Hae. 6/3/21


Short Youtube videos by Ewan Morrison on subjects 

related to #HowToSurviveEverything

FROM THE BUNKER 1. (15 mins)  Ewan Morrison on the plot of the novel - the origins of the story - the book trailer clip - clips from American Blackout - a reading from the novel by Frances Colin - childhood memories of the Nuclear Apocalypse Fear and clips from Govt. Propaganda in the 1980s, with govt advice on bunker building from "Protect & Survive"

FROM THE BUNKER 2. (15 mins) Ewan Morrison on essential survivalist items, 50 uses for Duct tape - why the 1918 pandemic resulted in almost no culture - and some of the amazing changes that have come about in the way we interact because of Covid-19



click on the book covers to read more
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N I N A   X


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& other stories



In The Press


“I wasn’t sure there could be a great pandemic novel. Here it is.”

“A terrific and gripping story… a masterclass in storytelling … It’s unusual for a dystopian novel to be rich in humanity, but this one is.



How To Survive Everything




How To Survive Everything

‘‘Terrifying ... a terrifically written thriller that puts a very contemporary dysfunctional family at the heart of a very contemporary dystopian reality’’



on How To Survive Everything

The funniest thing about this book is that it is funny... It takes a novelist as humane and wry as Morrison to find in (survivalism) a very weird redemption. A skewed comedy of manners."


on How To Survive Everything

‘‘Urgent and exciting, harnessing our current global anxiety with a beautifully observed family drama.’’

‘‘A riot to read.

Occasionally extremely funny. The plot twists and turns at a spanking pace’’



How To Survive Everything


Break Out Culture 


How To Survive Everything

“One of the most innovative and groundbreaking books to have been published in the last couple of decades.”

“An astonishing novel. The story,

the writing, the moral intelligence:

all of it is a knockout.” 

Sensational. Like nothing

I’ve ever read.

A tour de force.” 








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Longlist - McIlvanney Prize for the Scottish Crime Book of the Year, 2021 (Sept)

Shortlist - BOOKMARK - Book of the Year Prize, 2021 (Aug)

Winner - Saltire Society Scottish Fiction Book of the Year 2019

Longlist - Not the Booker Prize (Guardian) 2019

Finalist - The Michael Powell Award for Best British Feature Film 2015

Winner - Scottish Book of the Year - Novel Prize 2013

Winner - Glenfiddich Scottish Writer of the year 2012/13

Number 22 in the top 50 Scottish books of the Last 50 years. The List. 2013

Winner - Not the Booker Prize (Guardian) 2012

Finalist - Saltire Society Book of the Year 2012

Finalist - Creative Scotland Writer of the Year Award 2012

Finalist -The Prince Maurice Award for Love Stories 2007

Finalist - Arena Magazine Man of the Year Literature Prize 2006

Finalist - BAFTA Scotland x 2 Best New Director and Best New Writer. 2002

Winner - Royal Television Society Best Regional Drama 2002

Winner - Special Mention at the Pescara Film Festival 2001

Winner - The Audience Prize. Festivale de Sainte Livrade 2001

Winner - Special Mention. Napoli Film Festival 1998


Described as the ‘most fluent and intelligent Scottish writer of his generation’ by Booker Prize judge Stuart Kelly, Ewan Morrison is an award winning novelist and screenwriter and an essayist. 

Ewan's eight novel, the 'darkly comic thriller', HOW TO SURVIVE EVERYTHING was published by Contraband on 1st March 2021. It tells the story of a teenage girl who is abducted by her survivalist father, who believes that a world ending pandemic has begun.


Ewan’s novel, NINA X, published by Fleet an imprint of Little Brown, won Scotland's most prestigious literary prize - the Saltire Society Scottish Fiction Book of the Year , 2019. The novel tells of the life of an extraordinary young woman who is raised from birth in ‘ideological purity’ in a cult and then escapes into our modern world.

NINA X is currently being developed as a ilm with an award winning feature director.


Morrison was the winner of the Scottish Book of the Year (SMIT) Fiction Prize in 2013 for his novel CLOSE YOUR EYES, and of the Glenfiddich Scottish Writer of the Year award in 2012.  He is also the winner of the Not the Booker Prize in 2012, a finalist in the Saltire Society book of the Year, 2012, and a finalist in the Creative Scotland Writer of the Year Award 2012. TALES FROM THE MALL (2012) has been named one of the top 50 Scottish Books of the last 50 years, by critics and the Scottish Book Trust and gained praise from bestselling global authors.

Morrison's first feature film, SWUNG, an adaptation of his first novel, starring Elena Anaya (Sex and Lucia, The Skin I Live In), was released in five territories in 2016, and was a finalist for four international film awards. The novel, published in 2006, was also a finalist in the Le Prince Maurice Award.


Together with Morrison’s first collection of short stories this led to Morrison being a finalist in the ARENA Magazine Man of the Year Award (literature) 2006. One of the short stories from the first collection was made into the short film about "Bullycide and social media" - NONE OF THE ABOVE, directed by Siri Rodnes in 2017.


In 2014 Ewan co-wrote the feature length docu-drama American Blackout (National Geographic Channel) with his wife the award wining scriptwriter Emily Ballou (The Slap, Case Histories, Scott and Bailey). American Blackout reached an estimated international audience of 28 million viewers and was discussed in the US congress. Morrison has been nominated for three Scottish BAFTAs and is the winner of a Royal Television Society Best Drama Award. He has worked as Story Consultant on the feature films Outlaw King & From Life, and on a number of TV series.

Morrison blogs regularly for PSYCHOLOGY TODAY - As "WORD-LESS: A novelist ponders emotional health". He write regular essays for AREO magazine, on Utopianism and Free Speech.


Between 2011 & 2013 Morrison was a regular contributor to the Guardian - he also gave one of two Guardian keynote speeches at the Edinburgh International Book Festival in 2012.  He has contributed to The Times, The Telegraph, The Guardian, The Independent, The Daily Mail, L’Express, La Republicca, Quillette, Areo, Scotland on Sunday, The Scotsman, The Erotic Review, GQ, Esquire, Arena, Mute, Frieze, The Psychologist and Psychology Today.


Morrison has appeared on ABC Radio, BBC 2, STV, Channel 4, BBC Scotland, BBC Radio 4, and was the subject of a 30 minute Stark Talk interview on BBC Radio in 2014. In 2014 Morrison gave a keynote speech at the Frankfurt Book Fair Story Drive, while  in 2016 he delivered a TEDx talk on ‘Why We Would Be Happier Without Utopia.

News and Events




Announcement of film and TV rights acquisition for How To Survive Everything with Made Up Stories, Kindling & Fifth Season




How to Survive Everything  

published in USA with Harper Perennial


Shortlisted for the Bookmark Prize plus various events for Book Week Scotland




Ewan can be reached at:

Film and television agent Nick Marston:

Follow Ewan on twitter @mrewanmorrison:

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