Michael Hyde has been an activist and fighter for over three decades. He fought to stop the Vietnam War; he helped organise the Moratorium; and has stood for social justice ever since. "Back then," he says "my social conscience was about righting wrongs."
His novel Max is the story of a young boy trying to overcome the pain he feels following the suicide of his best mate Lou.
A fictional story, Max is nevertheless thoroughly researched. It's the product of direct experience and academic research. Michael has taught western suburbs youth for the past 27 years. He knows many who have had it tough. Max is also a terrific literary work. Michael received an MA from Victoria University for a preliminary version of Max.
Michael says. "Today I am interested in urgent social issues like male youth suicide. About the situation of adolescent males, young men... The novel seems to be running on a line started for me 30 years ago. Now, as then, I'm fascinated by the intangibles."
"Michael Hyde describes rivers and beaches like a fast-lane thriller writer and he describes Max's misadventures like an artist. There's a lot to enjoy here - and a lot to think about." - Jenny Pausacker.
"Hyde’s novel is a passionate and fast-moving story, told in tight, fresh, flying prose..." - Stephen Matthews, ABR.
"I loved the warmth of it – which is particularly well conveyed in Max’s mother and father. The canoeing sections are vivid and really made my palms sweat. The description of nature conveyed rivers so vividly. A marvellous book. I hope it helps to heal a lot of kids. Thank you." - Chris Wheat.
"Max is a confronting novel that delicately maps the myriad, yet tenuous personal connections which can redeem or condemn young men in our society." - Alex Radovanovic, Viewpoint.
"Immediately readable, lyrical and allusive, the novel is free of any didacticism as Max works through and around his feelings to a still place where Lou is present and welcome." - Pam Macintyre, ARB.