Mandy Sayer has been winning awards since the start of her career more than twenty years ago. Her first novel, Mood Indigo (1990), a pacy, absorbing account of a remarkable and rackety childhood, bagged the Vogel in 1989. Its autobiographical origins become clear when read in conjunction with her memoir Velocity (2005), which covers Sayer’s early life in more harrowing detail. Velocity also won a couple of major prizes. So I was expecting Love in the Years of Lunacy to be a mature, original novel; perhaps, given the title, with a nod in the direction of the great metafictionists. In an article in the Sydney Morning Herald in October 2009, Sayer named Gabriel García Márquez as her favourite author: ‘He’s had a profound influence on contemporary literature and has had many imitators but I don’t think anyone has been able to match him as a storyteller.’
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