"A moving and compassionate portrait of a human being who is fully himself and yet stands for all of us, for what we fear, or fear to hope."--"New York Times Book Review"
"[A] visceral, deeply affecting tale . . . Causality is a question at the heart of the gripping narrative . . . This is a compassionate, disturbing novel, tragically showing a human learning to appreciate life only when his own has been incarcerated." --"The Independent" (UK)
"MJ Hyland is an expert anatomist of the bruises left on a fragile mind by a hard world . . . Every word of Hyland's narrative - observed with the bright, deranged precision of a Richard Dadd painting - resonates."--"The Telegraph" (UK)
"This is How, the fearlessly disturbing new novel by M.J. Hyland, takes us inside the mind not of an innocent but of a killer . . . Young Patrick Oxby . . . Hyland's pared-down descriptions of Patrick's life--as it once was and as he now endures it--convey excruciating tension and pain. Yet the claustrophobic world that she creates has at its core a disfigured yet recognizable humanity."--"Boston Globe"
"A tour de force. Hyland illuminates this damaged soul with such a steely, brilliant clarity that your heart breaks for him."--Helen Garner, author of "The Spare Room"
"This Is How confirms M.J. Hyland as a true original. She has a ferocious imagination, and an eerie way of squeezing the distance between author, character and reader, so that the atmosphere of the book soaks and penetrates the reader's mind. When you've been reading Hyland, other writers seem to lack integrity; they seem wedded to weak confabulations, whereas she aims straight for the truth and the heart."--Hilary Mantel, Booker Prize-wining author of "Wolf Hall"
"Bleak yet moving, mercilessly dispassionate yet shot through with kindness and wit, [This Is How] is a profound achievement . . . it reminds us that there are some truths only fiction can carry."--"The Guardian" (UK)