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Mark Haddon - book author

Mark Haddon is a British novelist and poet, best known for his 2003 novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. He was educated at Uppingham School and Merton College, Oxford, where he studied English.

In 2003, Haddon won the Whitbread Book of the Year Award and in 2004, the Commonwealth Writers' Prize Overall Best First Book for his novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, a book which is written from the perspective of a boy with Aspergers syndrome. Haddon's knowledge of Aspergers syndrome, a type of autism, comes from his work with autistic people as a young man. In an interview at Powells.com, Haddon claimed that this was the first book that he wrote intentionally for an adult audience; he was surprised when his publisher suggested marketing it to both adult and child audiences. His second adult-novel, A Spot of Bother, was published in September 2006.

Mark Haddon is also known for his series of Agent Z books, one of which, Agent Z and the Penguin from Mars, was made into a 1996 Children's BBC sitcom. He also wrote the screenplay for the BBC television adaptation of Raymond Briggs's story Fungus the Bogeyman, screened on BBC1 in 2004. He also wrote the 2007 BBC television drama Coming Down the Mountain.

Haddon is a vegetarian, and enjoys vegetarian cookery. He describes himself as a 'hard-line atheist'. In an interview with The Observer, Haddon said "I am atheist in a very religious mould". His atheism might be inferred from The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time in which the main character declares that those who believe in God are stupid.

Mark Haddon lives in Oxford with his wife Dr. Sos Eltis, a Fellow of Brasenose College, Oxford, and their two young sons.

Mark Haddon is the author of books: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, A Spot of Bother, The Red House, Boom!, The Pier Falls: And Other Stories, The Porpoise, The Talking Horse and the Sad Girl and the Village Under the Sea: Poems, The Sea Of Tranquility, Six Shorts - The finalists for the 2013 Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award, Polar Bears

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Author Books

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01
Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. And he detests the color yellow.

Although gifted with a superbly logical brain, for fifteen-year-old Christopher everyday interactions and admonishments have little meaning. He lives on patterns, rules, and a diagram kept in his pocket. Then one day, a neighbor's dog, Wellington, is killed and his carefully constructive universe is threatened. Christopher sets out to solve the murder in the style of his favourite (logical) detective, Sherlock Holmes. What follows makes for a novel that is funny, poignant and fascinating in its portrayal of a person whose curse and blessing are a mind that perceives the world entirely literally.
02
George Hall is an unobtrusive man. A little distant, perhaps, a little cautious, not at quite at ease with the emotional demands of fatherhood, or manly bonhomie. He does not understand the modern obsession with talking about everything. “The secret of contentment, George felt, lay in ignoring many things completely.” Some things in life, however, cannot be ignored.

At 61, George is settling down to a comfortable retirement, building a shed in his garden, reading historical novels and listening to a bit of light jazz. Then his tempestuous daughter, Katie, announces that she is getting re-married, to the deeply inappropriate Ray. Her family is not pleased – as her brother Jamie observes, Ray has “strangler’s hands.” Katie can’t decide if she loves Ray, or loves the wonderful way he has with her son Jacob, and her mother Jean is a bit put out by all the planning and arguing the wedding has occasioned, which get in the way of her quite fulfilling late-life affair with one of her husband’s ex-colleagues. And the tidy and pleasant life Jamie has created crumbles when he fails to invite his lover, Tony, to the dreaded nuptials.

Unnoticed in the uproar, George discovers a sinister lesion on his hip, and quietly begins to lose his mind.

The way these damaged people fall apart – and come together – as a family is the true subject of Haddon’s disturbing yet amusing portrait of a dignified man trying to go insane politely.

A SPOT OF BOTHER is Mark Haddon’s unforgettable follow-up to the internationally beloved bestseller THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME. Here the madness – literally – of family life proves rich comic fodder for Haddon’s crackling prose and bittersweet insights into misdirected love.
03
An dazzlingly inventive novel about modern family, from the author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

The set-up of Mark Haddon's brilliant new novel is simple: Richard, a wealthy doctor, invites his estranged sister Angela and her family to join his for a week at a vacation home in the English countryside. Richard has just re-married and inherited a willful stepdaughter in the process; Angela has a feckless husband and three children who sometimes seem alien to her. The stage is set for seven days of resentment and guilt, a staple of family gatherings the world over.

But because of Haddon's extraordinary narrative technique, the stories of these eight people are anything but simple. Told through the alternating viewpoints of each character, The Red House becomes a symphony of long-held grudges, fading dreams and rising hopes, tightly-guarded secrets and illicit desires, all adding up to a portrait of contemporary family life that is bittersweet, comic, and deeply felt. As we come to know each character they become profoundly real to us. We understand them, even as we come to realize they will never fully understand each other, which is the tragicomedy of every family.

The Red House is a literary tour-de-force that illuminates the puzzle of family in a profoundly empathetic manner -- a novel sure to entrance the millions of readers of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
04
Jim and his best friend Charlie bug the staff room, and overhear two teachers speak in a strange language. What does "spudvetch" mean? Why do Mr Kidd's eyes flicker with fluorescent blue light when Charlie says spudvetch to him? A high-powered adventure can end only with a Boom!
05
Mark Haddon, author of the international bestselling novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and A Spot of Bother, returns with a collection of unsparing short stories

In the prize-winning story "The Gun," a man's life is marked by a single afternoon and a rusty .45; in "The Island," a mythical princess is abandoned on an island in the midst of war; in "The Boys Who Left Home to Learn Fear," a cadre of sheltered artistocrats sets out to find adventure in a foreign land and finds the gravest dangers among themselves. These are but some of the men and women who fill this searingly imaginative and emotionally taut collection of short stories by Mark Haddon, that weaves through time and space to showcase the author's incredible versatility.
     Yet the collection achieves a sum that is greater than its parts, proving itself a meditation not only on isolation and loneliness but also on the tenuous and unseen connections that link individuals to each other, often despite themselves. In its titular story, the narrator describes with fluid precision a catastrophe that will collectively define its victims as much as it will disperse them—and brilliantly lays bare the reader's appetite for spectacle alongside its characters'. Cut with lean prose and drawing inventively from history, myth, fairy tales, and, above all, the deep well of empathy that made his three novels so compelling, The Pier Falls reveals a previously unseen side of the celebrated author.
06
‘I really am so very, very sorry about this,’ he says, in an oddly formal voice… They strike the side of a grain silo. They are travelling at seventy miles per hour.

A newborn baby is the sole survivor of a terrifying plane crash.

She is raised in wealthy isolation by an overprotective father. She knows nothing of the rumours about a beautiful young woman, hidden from the world.

When a suitor visits, he understands far more than he should. Forced to run for his life, he escapes aboard The Porpoise, an assassin on his tail…

So begins a wild adventure of a novel, damp with salt spray, blood and tears. A novel that leaps from the modern era to ancient times; a novel that soars, and sails, and burns long and bright; a novel that almost drowns in grief yet swims ashore; in which pirates rampage, a princess wins a wrestler’s hand, and ghost women with lampreys’ teeth drag a man to hell – and in which the members of a shattered family, adrift in a violent world, journey towards a place called home.
07
From the phenomenally bestselling author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time comes Mark Haddon’s first collection of poems.

That Mark Haddon’s first book after The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time is a book of poetry may surprise his many fans; that it is also one of such virtuosity and range will not.

The Talking Horse and the Sad Girl and the Village Under the Sea reveals a poet of great versatility and formal talent. All the gifts so admired in Haddon’s prose are in strong evidence here – the humanity, the dark humour, and the uncanny ventriloquism – but Haddon is also a writer of considerable seriousness, lyric power, and surreal invention. This book will consolidate his reputation as one of the most imaginative writers in contemporary literature.
08
Leading up to the 40th anniversary of the first moon landing, the excitement of this momentous event is captured through the eyes of a child in this glorious picture book, reformatted with a new cover design. Mark Haddon is the prize-winning, highly-acclaimed author of the best-selling novel 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time'. Years ago there was a little boy who dreamed of rocketing to the moon, of landing on the crumbly rock and walking across the Sea of Tranquility. He borrowed library books and read how astronauts had orbited the earth and walked in space. And every night he hoped that they would find a way to land on the moon and walk where he had dreamed of walking. And eventually, one cloudless night, they did!
10
Polar Bears is a captivating tale by award-winning writer Mark Haddon. Balancing humour and pathos, it tells of one man's struggle to love, support and live with someone suffering from a psychological condition. With an elliptical structure and teasing timeline, the play handles the subject sensitively, with vivid, sympathetically-drawn characters and nicely-balanced dialectics. Polar Bears is thought-provoking and intelligent, with echoes of Nietszchean philosophy, and it refuses to offer any easy answers for those embroiled in mental instability. The plot is as follows: John has never met anyone like Kay. When the moon is in the right phase, she is magnetic and amazingly alive. But when the darkness closes in, she is lost to another world, a world in which John does not belong.

Mark Haddon is a hugely celebrated writer who is best known for his 2003 novel The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night-Time, which won a string of prestigious awards, including the Whitbread Book of the Year. It quickly became an international bestseller, was printed in 32 countries and translated into 15 languages.

Polar Bears is his first work for the theatre and enjoyed a high profile premiere at the Donmar Warehouse 1 April - 22 May 2010, directed by Jamie Lloyd and starring Jodhi May and Richard Coyle.