The son of cartoonist Nick Garland, Alex Garland was born in Manchester UK in 1970.He claims that his first loves are video games, which he discovered at the age of eight, and cigarettes which weren't dicovered until a good while later

In 1987 he went to India on a six week trip to Kashmir and Ladahk, and was bitten by the travelling bug. When he left school he spent six months travelling around the Phillipines

On his return in in 1989, Garland went to Manchester University in the UK and was awarded a B.A. in History of Art 3 years later. By the end of his degree he was producing comic strips, and after finding the format limiting in terms of the stories he was trying to tell, he ended up writing a book

His debut novel, The Beach was published in 1996 and won the Betty Trask Award a year later. It was a huge hit, and was made moreso by the release of a film adaptation directed by Danny Boyle of Trainspotting fame and starring Leonardo Di Caprio in 2000.

Garlands second novel, The Tesseract was released in 1999, to mixed reviews. Some claimed it was pompous and overblown, whereas others claimed it was a work of genius and compared the author to Graham Greene. Despite what the critics said, the book went on to do quite well, but was nowhere near as popular as its predecessor.

After the success of his first two novels, Alex signed a two book deal with Penguin Viking publishing, but his writing careers is currently on hiatus. He claims to be struggling with a bad case of writers block, and he has turned his attention to the world of film in an attempt to find some relief, where he is working with some of the team who brought The Beach to the screen on a film tentatively called 28 Days Later.

He's back ... the new book is rather cheerfully entitled The Coma.

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