A heartbreaking work of wonder about the hum that connects us all.

My hum... will be in everything, the wind, the sea, the sand, the air, in you.

About the Book

The Story

Marlowe and Harper share a bond deeper than most sisters, shaped by the loss of their mother in childhood. For Harper, living with what she calls the Up syndrome and gifted with an endless capacity for wonder, Marlowe and she are connected by an invisible thread, like the hum that connects all things. For Marlowe, they are bound by her fierce determination to keep Harper, born with a congenital heart disorder, alive.

Now 25, Marlowe is finally living her own life abroad, pursuing her studies of a rare species of butterfly secure in the knowledge Harper’s happiness is complete, having found love with boyfriend, Louis. But then she receives the devastating call that Harper’s heart is failing. She needs a heart transplant but is denied one by the medical establishment because she is living with a disability. Marlowe rushes to her childhood home in Hong Kong to be by Harper’s side and soon has to answer the question – what lengths would you go to save your sister?

About the Author

Hannah was born and raised in Hong Kong. She completed her Bachelor of Arts in fine art and film from Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design in London. She undertook further study in both directing and screenwriting at the Australian Film and Television and Radio School and worked in the film industry in Hong Kong and Australia for over five years. She is the director of the documentary ‘Inside Out’ produced by Cheeky Monkey Productions.

She has a Masters in Creative Writing from the University of Technology, Sydney and is currently completing an international MFA in writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She was the 2013 recipient of the Ray Koppe Young Writers Award for her debut novel as a work in progress. When Things Are Alive They Hum has been shortlisted for the Indie Book Awards 2022, the MUD Literary Prize 2022, and shortlisted for the ABIA Book Awards 2022 in the categories of General Fiction Book of the Year Award and The Matt Richelle Award for New Writer Of The Year.

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Hack Productivity Book - Normal Cover Print

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Hack Productivity Book - Hard Cover Print

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Hack Productivity Book - eBook Version

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What Authors Say About the Book

When literature is alive it hums, and rattles and warms and hurts and heals. Hannah Bent and her wondrous Harper and Marlowe have changed the way I've been going about my days. What a gift.

Trent Dalton
Author, Boys Swallows Universe and All Our Shimmering Skies

One of the most captivating and memorable books I’ve read in a long time. Brave, tender and heartfelt, I foresee cheese platters stripped down to the last cracker as bookclubs reflect on this beautiful and thought-provoking novel.’

Joanna Nell
Author, The Single Ladies of Jacaranda Retirement Village

Hannah Bent’s novel is compelling and tender, powerfully placing the reader in the heart and the mind of two sisters with contrasting expectations of life, and the imperatives of love. At times this pulls them in dangerously different directions but ultimately their ability to honour the essence of each other reminds us that in doing so, life-giving expansion is possible even when life itself may be diminishing.

Suzanna Daniel
Author, Allegra in Three Parts

​My heart feels larger for reading Hannah Bent’s beautiful debut. This is a novel which hums with love, truth and tenderness. I defy readers not to fall in love with Marlowe and Harper.

Kathryn Heyman
Author, Fury

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