AS HEARD ON BBC RADIO 4 BOOK AT BEDTIME
WINNER OF THE IRISH BOOK AWARDS NOVEL OF THE YEAR 2014
SHORTLISTED FOR THE COSTA FIRST NOVEL AWARD 2014
Tess Lohan appears to be a quiet child. But within lies a heart of fire. A fire that will propel her from her native Ireland into the hurly-burly of 1960s New York. In this city she will face the twists of a life graced with great beauty, but forever floating close to hazard. Joyous and heartbreaking, Academy Street journeys through six decades and one incredible story.
Packed with emotional intensity * * Sunday Times * * A writer of huge ability . . . Brings to mind John Williams’s resurrected masterpiece, Stoner * * Guardian * * To recount a life story in a novel is a difficult task. To do so with brevity and unsentimental honesty takes greatness. Academy Street is a powerful and emotional novel from one of literature’s finest new voices — JOHN BOYNE An exceptional first novel * * The Times * * With extraordinary devotion, Mary Costello brings to life a woman who would otherwise have faded into oblivion — J.M. COETZEE Mary Costello’s writing has the kind of urgency that the great problems demand – call them themes; they are the kind of problems that make a writer — ANNE ENRIGHT * * Guardian * * Academy Street is understated, graceful and, ultimately, devastating. Even as my heart was breaking I couldn’t put the book down — DONAL RYAN, author of The Spinning Heart Intensely moving but never sentimental, Academy Street is a profound meditation on what Faulkner called ‘the human heart in conflict with itself’. In Tess Lohan, Mary Costello has created one of the most fully realised characters in contemporary fiction. What a marvel of a book — RON RASH Costello proves herself an absolute master in Academy Street * * Independent * * A novel where the interior life on an ordinary woman is delineated with artistry and grace * * Metro * * Delve[s] deep into the human condition, into the bittersweet beauty of life * * Irish Times * * In her deceptively easygoing debut novel, Costello has refined her already spare style so that scarcely a word or phrase feels extraneous * * Metro Herald * * The work of a highly accomplished writer and heralds the emergence of an exciting new novelist . . . Academy Street will keep you glued to its crisp pages, such is the intensity of its language and scale of its emotional reach. This is a novel that should be read by anyone who cares about writing and its ability to invoke * * Irish Independent * * A markedly brave book, an unblinking attempt to recreate a life of intense ordinariness and make it special . . . well worth applauding * * Sunday Times * * Costello’s concern is to bear witness to the intensity of experience . . . the writing becomes charged with all the strangeness and vitality of her character * * New York Times * * An unimpeachable addition to the literature of Irish diaspora * * Country Life * * Extraordinarily compelling * * Guardian * * Excellent * * Times Literary Supplement * * Costello imbues lyricism into each sentence of her carefully constructed prose . . . she writes with a poetry that extends beyond being ornamental * * Observer * * Immense maturity and unusual writerly empathy * * Scotsman * * Beautifully understated . . . Academy Street draws comparisons to early James Joyce * * San Francisco Chronicle * * A devastatingly sad, unsentimental and beautifully wrought account of a quiet life * * Psychologies * * Heart-breaking * * The Simple Things * * A major literary accomplishment from an exciting new voice * * Westmeath Independent * * Tess’s fearful, reserved exterior and rich inner world is written with exacting discipline. Every emotion, every sensory image is pared back on the page, stripped right down to its very essence . . . Academy Street will keep you glued to its crisp pages, such is the intensity of its language and scale of its emotional reach * * Irish Independent * * Costello’s tracing of a life from innocence to experience is full of compassion and an old-fashioned quality * * Independent On Sunday * * This is an astonishingly well-composed novel, which signals the arrival of a major literary talent * * Sunday Business Post * * An emotionally beautiful story written with insight and with the evocative pen of a fine master — Judges’ comments, International Dublin Literary Award 2016 A remarkable debut with a transcendent, quiet power — Judges’ comments, Costa First Novel Award 2014
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