Personality is at once a profoundly affecting and beautiful novel and a wonderfulachievement by one of the finest writers of prose today.Maria Tambini is a thirteen-year-old girl with an amazing singing voice. Growingup above her mother's chip shop on the Scottish island of Bute, living at thecentre of her family's dream of fame, Maria is an extraordinary girl makingready to escape the ordinary life.We first meet her amidst the faded grandeur of the seaside resort of Rothesay,with the Argyll hills and the eighties in front of her, and behind her a longshadow: the secret story of her Italian-immigrant family. When Maria wins anational TV talent show she is taken to London and becomes an instant star ofwhat used to be called light entertainment; she sings with Dean Martin and toursAmerica, can fill the London Palladium, yet all the while 'the girl with the giantvoice' is losing herself in fame and conducting a private war against her ownbody. Maria becomes a living exhibit in the modern drama of celebrity: is itpossible that she can be saved by love? Or is she to be consumed by an obsessiveculture, by family lies and her number-one fan?Personality includes a cast of characters so vivid and complex that they seem toencompass within their enthralling stories a portrait of a whole society, its historyand its spirit.Andrew O'Hagan was born in Glasgow in 1968. He is the author of The Missing,a non-fiction book published in 1995, and one previous novel, Our lathers, whichwas shortlisted for the 1999 Booker Prize. In January 2003 Andrew O'Hagan waschosen as one of Granta's Best Young British Novelists. He lives in London.