Sunday, 19 July 2009

Book of the Week and bibliography - M.J.Hyland, This is How

This is How is the third novel from Maria (M.J.) Hyland. Hyland was born in London to Irish parents in 1968 and spent her early childhood in Dublin before moving to Australia. She studied English and Law at the University of Melbourne, Australia and worked as a lawyer for several years. She currently lives in Manchester, England, where she teaches in the Centre for New Writing at Manchester University.

Hyland's first novel, How the Light Gets In (2003), was short-listed for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize and the Age Book of the Year and also took third place in the Barnes & Noble, Discover Great New Writers Award. In was also joint winner of the Best Young Australian Novelist Award. Carry Me Down (2006), her second novel, was winner of the Encore Prize (2007) and the Hawthornden Prize (2007) and was also short-listed for the Man Booker Prize (2006). Hyland writes intense and claustrophic novels. This is How has been strongly reviewed, and may well feature in prize lists later in the year. Regardless, she is a writer who is likely to have a very strong future and it is worth picking up all three of her novels. SIgned copies are relatively uncommon.

"When his fiance breaks off their engagement, Patrick Oxtoby leaves home and moves into a boarding house in a remote seaside town. But in spite of his hopes and determination to build a better life, nothing goes to plan and Patrick is soon driven to take a desperate and chilling course of action. "This is How" is a mesmerising and meticulously drawn portrait of a man whose unease in the world leads to his tragic undoing. With breathtaking wisdom and an astute insight into the human mind, award-winning M.J. Hyland's new book is a masterpiece that inspires horror and sympathy in equal measure."


How the light gets in. (Canongate, Edinburgh, 2004). Paperback with dust jacket.
Carry me down. (Canongate, Edinburgh, 2006). Paperback with dust jacket.
This is how. (Canongate, Edinburgh, 2009). Paperback with dust jacket.

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