Spies in Canaan
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A bold and unsettling parable about guilt, atonement and redemption from the winner of the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Award
‘It is seldom that one can say a book is perfect, but this is as close as I’ve seen in a very long time’ SUNDAY INDEPENDENT
‘A bold and unsettling parable about guilt, atonement and redemption’ IRISH TIMES
Michael has travelled a long way from his boyhood under the endless skies of the Midwest. His retirement is peaceful, if solitary. But one day there is a visitation: a mysterious car on the seafront, and a package delivered. From its contents, Michael understands that he has been commissioned to undertake a final journey.
As Michael makes his way deep into a distant desert – a strange and liminal landscape that lies between hell and redemption – he undertakes another journey, into long-suppressed memories: of Vietnam and the dying days of war, and to face a final accounting for what was done.
Taut, atmospheric and moving, Spies in Canaan is a powerful elegy to the pain of love, the guilt of old age, and the grace of atonement.
‘Another compact marvel … This is a meditative novel that, while investing heavily in a patient build-up of atmosphere, never forgets the need to put a foot on the gas’ DAILY MAIL
‘David Park’s novels are always elegantly written’ INDEPENDENT
‘Unflinching, courageous, wise, alert to the thrill and sorrow of violence … Adds to David Park’s status as a superb novelist’ FRANK MCGUINNESS
Praise for David Park: Delicate, beautifully written -- DAVID NICHOLLS Spies in Canaan by David Park ... Is an unsettling parable about guilt, atonement and redemption set in the US * IRISH TIMES, BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2022 * The Belfast author has steadily built a reputation as one of the finest writers on this island. In his tenth novel, he explores themes of guilt, atonement and redemption through the story of Michael, a Vietnam vet who faces his past on a journey into the desert * IRISH EXAMINER, BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2022 * Breathtaking, brave, exhilarating ... Every sentence in Parks's book is felt. The author has weighed up each word and considered every image, electing only those that carry sufficient freight to bear the reader to his intended destination -- CLAIRE KILROY * GUARDIAN * Wrings the heart -- BERNARD MACLAVERTY The tenth novel from the Co Down author follows retiree Michael on one last journey into a distant desert, and his inner journey into long-suppressed memories of the Vietnam War * IRISH INDEPENDENT, BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2022 * A mighty book ... An eruption of love and sorrow, overwhelmingly compassionate and wise, hearing the heart break and maybe even heal, bearing the deepest testimony to the love, unending love -- FRANK MCGUINESS Extraordinary, raw and moving a chronicle of pain and powerlessness as could be written -- LISA MCINERNEY Beautiful, intensely human * IRISH TIMES, BOOKS OF THE YEAR * Tense, thrilling, strange and profoundly moving ... There isn't a wasted syllable in this short, beautiful book -- DONAL RYAN * IRISH TIMES * Park appears to write effortlessly, with one foot planted firmly in the canon of traditional Irish lyricism and another flirting with modern parlance ... His emotional intelligence is remarkable * DAILY MAIL * The Belfast Turgenev ... One of the truest observers of life * Big Issue *
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