'On Purpose' is Laird's second collection of poems, both published by Faber and Faber. The poems further explore the concept of relationships, loosely based on the tract "The Art of War" by Sun Tzu. The book won the Somerset Maugham Award and the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize in 2008.
Nicholas "Nick" Laird (born 1975) is a Northern Irish novelist and poet. Having attained a first in English at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, and won the "Arthur Quiller-Couch Award for Creative Writing", he worked at the law firm Allen & Overy in London for six years, before leaving to concentrate on his writing. Laird explained how leaving Northern Ireland for Cambridge had expanded his horizons and offered him opportunities that he believes would have otherwise been unavailable: "I met a Jewish person for the first time. I met a black person for the first time." He believes that leaving Northern Ireland gave him freedom to adopt a new, or broader, identity. One of his main themes is interpersonal relationships between men and women, and he has cited Ian McEwan and Nick Hornby as writers whom he admires for their ability to weave this element into their work. Laird is one of the 'post-Troubles' young novelists from Belfast (such as Robert McLiam Wilson, Glenn Patterson, and Colin Bateman), who have emerged to articulate the identity of the generation who grew up amid some of the region's worst violence, but who also matured in an era of painful reconciliation. His poetry has been much influenced by Irish poet Seamus Heaney, and he has also published two novels, both recognised as potential literary prize-winners.
Our book is one of a limited edition of 50 (it is No. 23), issued by Faber & Faber to coincide with the publication of the main printing. Each copy is signed by the author. It is in immaculate condition, bound in cream 'laid' paper-covered boards with mid-blue cloth wraparound to the spine (quarter bound) with title & author's name in red print on a cream paper label pasted near the top. A bright blue & gold headband is in place at top and bottom of the spine. There are no signs of shelf wear or use. The binding is firm, and all pages clean and bright. The book is protected by a blue slipcase with the same mid-blue cloth at top and bottom edges, in similarly immaculate condition.