Author(s): M. J. Hyland
HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN is a cleverly observed, complex story of a girl on the verge of adulthood, whose world--like Holden Caulfield’s before her--is full of mixed messages. Louise Connor, a precocious and unhappy Australian 16-year-old, is offered a place as an exchange student in America. But when Lou’s intense need for acceptance clashes with her host family’s pursuit of suburban perfection, things begin to deteriorate. How the Light Gets In mesmerizes with black humour and its highly charged portrait of adolescence.
M.J. Hyland was born in London to Irish parents in 1968 and spent her early childhood in Dublin. She studied English and Law at the University of Melbourne and worked as a lawyer for several years. How the Light Gets In, her first novel, was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize and the Age Book of the Year Award, and was the joint winner of the Best Young Australian Novelist Award. Her second novel, Carry Me Down, was shortlisted for the 2006 Man Booker Prize and won both the Hawthornden and Encore Prizes. Her most recent novel is This is How. Hyland lives in Manchester, England, where she teaches in the Centre for New Writing at the University of Manchester.