I chose reincarnation as a subject for Herring Girl not because I was a believer, but because I wanted to write about the history of my home town, and reincarnation seemed a good fictional trope for linking the present with the past.

But when I researched the literature, and experienced past-life regression hypnosis myself, I encountered evidence that was hard to dismiss.

My conclusion today: not disproven.

If you’d like to take part in a short survey on people’s belief in and experience of paranormal phenomena, click here (closes 31 July).

Below is a list of my main sources for Herring Girl. For more recent research and publications, see my paranormal blog. For other academic research in this field, see recent editions of the Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research and the Journal of Scientific Exploration.

  • 12 Real Life Reincarnation Stories in the News: global evidence of reincarnation and past lives, ed. Richard Bullivant, Kindle edition, 2012
  • ‘A critique of arguments offered against reincarnation’, by Robert Almeder, Journal of Scientific Exploration, vol. 11, 1997
  • An Introduction to Jungian Psychology, by Frieda Fordham, London: Penguin, 1953
  • Introduction to Buddhism: an explanation of the Buddhist way of life, by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, London: Tharpa, 1992
  • Life Before Life: a scientific investigation of children’s memories of previous lives, by Jim B. Tucker, London: Piatkus, 2006
  • Many Lives, Many Masters, by Brian L. Weiss, London: Piatkus, 1994
  • Mindsight: near death and out-of-body experiences in the blind, by Kenneth Ring and Sharon Cooper, New York: iUniverse, 2008
  • Old Souls: the scientific evidence for past lives, by Tom Shrouder, London: Simon and Schuster, 1999
  • On Life After Death, by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, Berkeley, CA: Celestial Arts, 2008
  • Only Love is Real: the story of soulmates reunited, by Brian Weiss, London: Piatkus, 1996
  • Other Lives, Other Selves: a Jungian psychotherapist discovers past lives, by Roger J. Woolger, London: Thorsons, 1999
  • Proof of Heaven: a neurosurgeon’s journey into the afterlife, by Eben Alexander, London: Piatkus, 2012
  • Reincarnation: A Critical Examination, by Paul Edwards, Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 1996
  • Synchronicity: an acausal connecting principle, by C. G. Jung, tr. R. F. C. Hull, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1955
  • The Tibetan Book of the Dead, tr. Gyurme Dorje, ed. Graham Coleman with Thuuten Jinpa, London: Penguin, 2005
  • Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation, by Ian Stevenson, Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 1974
  • Wisdom of Near-Death Experiences: how understanding NDEs can help us to live more fully, by Penny Sartori, London: Watkins Publishing, 2014