Synopses & Reviews
"Hyland's clever prose is first-rate, but wit makes a weak substitute for insight in this novel about a deeply troubled young Englishman who seeks a fresh start, only to end up facing serious criminal charges. As a child, the unreliable 23-year-old narrator, Patrick Oxtoby, was an excellent student, but after a breakdown at age 14 he became fascinated with mechanics. Now, shortly after his fiance leaves him, he lands in a small seaside town, takes a job at an auto repair shop and moves into a boarding house he can't afford. It seems as if Hyland misses every opportunity to delve into the roots of Patrick's awkwardness: his landlady and a local waitress provide him fantasy material, and it's clear, even from Patrick's problematic perspective, that he comes across as creepy. Nonetheless, both women inexplicably trust him, just as his parents and older brother appear to love and encourage him until his arrest, at which point, and without explanation, they abandon him. Hyland (Carry Me Down) sails across Patrick's dark exterior with humor and empathy, but as with everyone Patrick encounters, she hesitates to dive below the surface." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
M. J. Hyland is the award winning and Man Booker shortlisted author of Carry Me Down
. Her third novel, This Is How
, is a psychologically probing and deeply moving account of a man at odds with the world. Patrick Oxtoby is a perpetual outsider longing to find his niche. When his fiancé breaks off their engagement, Patrick leaves home and moves to a remote seaside village. In spite of his hopes for a new and better life, Patrick struggles to fit in or make the right impression. He cant shake the feeling that his new friends are conspiring against him, further fracturing his already fragile personality and prompting him to take a course of action that permanently alters the course of his life.
This Is How is a mesmerizing and meticulously drawn portrait of a man whose unease in the world as it is leads to his tragic undoing. With breathtaking wisdom and astute insight into the human mind, Hylands latest is a masterpiece that arouses horror and sympathy in equal measure.
From the author of "Carry Me Down" comes this meticulously drawn portrait of a man whose unease in the world leads to his tragic undoing. With wisdom and astute insight into the human mind, Hyland's novel arouses horror and sympathy in equal measure.
About the Author
M.J. Hyland is an ex-lawyer and the author of three multi-award-winning novels: How the Light Gets In, Carry Me Down
, and This is How
. Carry Me Down
was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and won both the Hawthornden Prize and The Encore Prize.
Hyland is also a lecturer in Creative Writing in The Centre for New Writing at The University of Manchester where she runs fiction workshops, alongside Martin Amis, Colm Tóibín, and Jeanette Winterson. She also runs regular fiction masterclasses in The Guardian Masterclass Programme, and has twice been shortlisted for the BBC Short Story Prize (2011 and 2012). She also publishes in The Guardian's "How to Write" series, and has written nonfiction for The Financial Times, Granta, The New Yorker, and elsewhere. Hyland is co-founder of The Hyland and Byrne Editing Firm (see - editingfirm.com and mjhyland.com)