Diamond Star Halo

Tiffany Murray

Published: 7 April 2011
Paperback, B Format
129x198mm, 400 pages
ISBN: 9781846272080


Growing up in a rural recording studio, Halo Llewellyn is rarely star-struck, but when one of the visiting singers gives birth to Fred, she knows right away that he's special. As the golden child grows into the gilded man, she remains dazzled by his ambition and his talent. Up on stage, being screamed at by hundreds of teenage girls, Fred will always turn his spotlight on Halo in the crowd. But that's the problem with falling in love with your charismatic almost-brother - it can never be a secret. In the end, the whole world has to know.

About the author

Image of Tiffany Murray

Tiffany's novels Diamond Star Halo and Happy Accidents (Harper Perennial) have both been short-listed for the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize. The Guardian called her 'the glam rock Dodie Smith' and selected Diamond Star Halo as one of 'the best' in their pick of 2010 Fiction. Tiffany studied at New York University and The University of East Anglia, where she gained her doctorate. She has written for The Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Independent and the Guardian. She is Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at The University of Glamorgan and she lives in Wales and Portugal. More about the author


‘A beautiful, pitch-perfect harmony of Wuthering Heights and your favourite mix tape’ Owen Sheers, author of RESISTANCE



‘A book for anyone whose heart has ever raced when they heard a special piece of music, who has struggled in love to work out whether they do the choosing or get chosen. This is a cloud-parting gem by a talented author who writes with wit, poise and charm.’ Tim Butcher, author of Blood River

‘A powerful and gripping novel ... It is both rare and satisfying to find a writer with such a deft touch’

‘A rite-of-passage novel influenced as much by Jane Austen's Persuasion as it is by Laurie Lee's Cider with Rosie, Diamond Star Halo's lineage is longer than the Grateful Dead's recording career ... her blending of real and imaginary events make her novel compulsive reading.’ Alex Donohue

‘A rock'n'roll fable of love and death and farming - a Welsh Hotel New Hampshire for the babyboomer generation.’ Peter Florence

‘A story that sings with wit and wisdom, told by a writer at the top of her game.’ Mark Mills, author of The Savage Garden

‘A story with soul.’

‘A touching family chronicle with an impeccable soundtrack, this is Cider with Rosie for rock 'n' rollers’ Mark Radcliffe

‘A wonderful parade of characters sparkle out of this novel alongside a rock'n'roll songlist to die for ... This funny, moving, magical, enchanting novel is as good as anything that ever came out of that studio, and I include the harmonies that Freddie Mercury put together there for Bohemian Rhapsody. This is a writer with a real voice, always human, never sentimental, and her zesty writing sparkles like the soundtrack she brings to your consciousness.’ Steve Dube

‘An irresistible book ... This novel is a delight to read, clever, funny, lush and full of magnificent characters’ Kerryn Goldsworthy

‘Full of hope and joy. Stick on some classic vinyl, crack the spine open, and enjoy.’

‘Heartfelt writing... it fizzes. If Murray's debut was a psychedelic nod towards Stella Gibbons, in this one she proves herself the glam-rock Dodie Smith.’

‘I was grabbed and seduced by its generosity and fluidity within a few pages...In scenes of exquisitely detailed and controlled writing each character remains full and sustained throughout, extensions of the untamed landscape outlying the farm which boils with mystery and folkloric emblem... After reading Diamond Star Halo I had the urge to play Bonnie Prince Billy's 'Death to Everyone', tickle the cat, and walk to the pub. It's uncommon, and valuable, for a novel to make you want to cross-reference life in this way. Beneficial, too.’ Niall Griffiths

‘Murray writes affectionately about her eccentric cast of characters. She also handles the music motif well, with David Bowie providing the soundtrack for themes of transformation and transgression.’ Ludovic Hunter-Tilney

‘Murray's novel successfully recreates the ecstasy of growing up in a vibrant musical environment through dense, image-laden prose ... With a rich, Bowie-heavy soundtrack to hand, Diamond Star Halo remind[s] readers of the pivotal ways in which music can create and invoke memories’

‘Mystical, enthralling and absorbing, this is an inspiring tale of a very different kind of love.’

‘Poignant, funny and deliciously Welsh.’

‘The style of this irresistible book recalls the lush landscapes and wordscapes of Dylan Thomas... ... This novel is a delight to read, clever, funny, lush and full of magnificent characters.’ Kerryn Goldsworthy

‘This book made me smile and feel that life just became several degrees more enchanting.’ Patrick Gale

‘This is the first laugh-out-loud book of the year’

‘This tender coming-of-age story captures the very ordinary pangs of growing up in unusual circumstances. In a novel that will put a smile on your face and a spring in your step, Murray marries prairie pathos with a more native pastoralism.’

‘Tiffany Murray's new book is one of the few to give the adjective "kooky" back its good name ... It's testament to her talents that she has transformed this material into something more substantial. Thanks to Halo's presence, a tender coming-of-age story captures the ordinary pangs of growing up in unusual circumstances ... Her lush prose will put a spring in your step and a smile on your face.’ Emma Hagestadt

‘Will put a spring in your step and a smile on your face’

Mind Unit - websites, content management and email marketing for the arts