This Is Shyness

Leanne Hall

This Is Shyness
Text Publishing Co
2 August 2010

This Is Shyness

Leanne Hall

A guy who howls. A girl on a mission to forget. In the suburb of Shyness, where the sun doesn’t rise and the border crackles with a strange energy, Wolfboy meets a stranger at the Diabetic Hotel.

She tells him her name is Wildgirl, and she dares him to be her guide through the endless night. But then they are mugged by the sugar-crazed Kidds. And what plays out is moving, reckless … dangerous.

There are things that can only be said in the dark. And one long night is time enough to change your life.


Wildgirl is looking to forget, so when she meets Wolfboy she asks him to take her to a place where the sun never rises: Shyness. The suburb of Shyness isn’t a nice place to be after dark (not that you have a choice) – gangs of Kidds hooked on sugar roam the streets and will rough you up for your cough drops. But with Wolfboy and Wildgirl egging each other on, they embark on a dangerous journey.

It’s easy to see why This is Shyness won the 2009 Text Prize. In a word, it’s amazing. Its darkly magical world is both familiar and completely original. As Wolfboy and Wildgirl learn more and more about each other over the course of the night, you’ll come to know them too. I found it hard to say goodbye to these surprising, wonderful characters, but even in Shyness all good nights must come to an end.

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