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Nobel laureate writes introduction for new edition of M J Hyland's second novel

24 Oct 2016

J M Coetzee, Nobel Laureate and twice Man Booker Prize winner, has written the introduction for M J Hyland's novel Carry Me Down (2006)

Carry Me Down - detail from book cover

John Egan lives with his mother, father and grandmother in rural Ireland. The Guinness Book of Records is his favourite book and he wants to visit Niagara Falls with his mother. But, more than anything, he is determined to become a world-famous lie detector, almost at any cost.

Carry Me Down is written in clean, compelling prose, and is about John’s obsessive and dangerous desire to see the truth, even as his family is threatened in countless ways. In this singular tale of disturbed love every word rings true.

This new edition of M J Hyland's second novel, Carry Me Down, is introduced by Nobel laureate, J M Coetzee, who writes:

"Like Henry James's What Maisie Knew... Carry Me Down works by indirection. Its built-in irony is that the intelligence at its centre is not attuned to indirection.

"The double valency of John’s discourse comes from the skill and sensitivity to nuance with which it is composed.

"The striking fact about the book is the technical premise on which it is built: that everything will be relayed through the eyes and the mind of the (narrator), with no authorial intervention."

The Text Classic edition of Carry Me Down (ISBN: 9781925355338) was published on 23 March 2016.

Further information

What reviewers said

  • "Carry Me Down is a remarkable achievement of imaginative sympathy..." Times Literary Supplement
  • "Carry Me Down is a tour de force character study."  The Observer
  • "I don't think I've ever read such a true book." Hilary Mantel
  • "Carry Me Down … doesn’t have a phoney thing about it." Laurence Phelan, Independent on Sunday
  • "Gripping…instantly likeable and convincing…uncovers precious truths at every turn." The Times
  • "... a thoroughly engaging narrative. A close, creepy, masterly exploration of a shattered preadolescence." Kirkus Reviews (USA)
  • "The trials and traumas of John’s twelfth year ... are sketched with Swiftian disgust ..." Financial Times Magazine
  • "Hyland is an exceptionally fine and subtle writer ..." Time Out, London
  • "A fast-paced psychological drama." People Magazine (USA)
  • "John Egan's voice is an imaginative act just shy of miraculous ... a remarkable book."  San Francisco Chronicle