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A Novel
Author 1
Max Porter
This is the story of a few strange hours in the life of a troubled teenage boy.
You mustn’t do that to yourself Shy. You mustn’t hurt yourself like that.
He is wandering into the night listening to the voices in his head: his teachers, his parents, the people he has hurt and the people who are trying to love him.
Got your special meds, nutcase?
He is escaping Last Chance, a home for “very disturbed young men,” and walking into the haunted space between his night terrors, his past, and the heavy question of his future.
The night is huge and it hurts.
In Shy, Max Porter extends the excavation of boyhood that began with Grief Is the Thing with Feathers and continued with Lanny. But here he asks: How does mischievous wonder and anarchic energy curdle into something more disturbing and violent? Shy is a bravura, lyric, music-besotted performance by one of the great writers of his generation.

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A novel about guilt, rage, imagination, and boyhood, about being lost in the dark and learning you’re not alone

About the Author

Max  Porter
Credit: Francesca Jones
Max Porter is the author of Lanny, which was longlisted for the Booker Prize, Grief Is the Thing with Feathers, winner of the International Dylan Thomas Prize, and The Death of Francis Bacon. He lives in Bath with his family.
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  • “Porter does a fine job of inhabiting the mind of a teenager in ways that may remind readers of David Mitchell’s novel Black Swan Green, with all the confusion and lack of resolution that come with the territory. . . . Porter gets his bumbling, anomic antihero down to a T.”Kirkus Reviews

  • “A stormy and moving story about Shy, an angry young man in a world of barbed wire, in a world of bruises. In language that shimmers, rages and churns, Max Porter has once again written an unparalleled masterpiece.”—Marieke Lucas Rijneveld
  • “The troubled boy at the heart of this novel is full of rage and sadness but Max Porter finds tenderness and hope in him. Just beautiful.”—Mariana Enriquez
  • Shy is the strangest, most beguiling and affecting of all of Max Porter’s books.”—Ian Rankin
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