The Spinning Heart
Winner of the Guardian First Book Award 2013
Shortlisted for the Dublin IMPAC Literary Award 2014
Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2013
Winner of Book of the Year at the Irish Book Awards 2012
‘Funny, moving and beautifully written’ Edna O’Brien
In the aftermath of Ireland’s financial collapse, dangerous tensions surface in an Irish town. As violence flares, the characters face a battle between public persona and inner desires. Through a chorus of unique voices, each struggling to tell their own kind of truth, a single authentic tale unfolds.
The Spinning Heart speaks for contemporary Ireland like no other novel. Wry, vulnerable, all-too human, it captures the language and spirit of rural Ireland and with uncanny perception articulates the words and thoughts of a generation. Technically daring and evocative of Patrick McCabe and J.M. Synge, this novel of small-town life is witty, dark and sweetly poignant.
‘Filled with light and shade, love and tragedy … if it was a song you could sing it’ Anne Enright
‘Donal Ryan is the real deal. … a brilliantly realised, utterly resonant state-of-the-nation landscape’ Sunday Independent
‘I can’t imagine a more original, more perceptive or more passionate work than this. Outstanding’ John Boyne
‘It’s furious, it’s moving, it’s darkly funny, it punches you right in the gut’ New York Times
There's a powerful sense of place and shared history binding Ryan's many voices, their inner and outer selves, distilling a linguistic richness comparable to Under Milk Wood. . . . Ryan's novel . . . seems to draw speech out of the deepest silences; the testimony of his characters rings rich and true - funny and poignant and banal and extraordinary - and we can't help but listen. * The Guardian * Donal Ryan's precise and evocative debut ... is a textured account of a community as it was during a brief moment of time. ... unexpectedly tender ... Ryan's prism of life and lives is compellingly humane. ... This is an exciting, relevant and believable contemporary novel about the lost and the wounded that listens to the present without discarding either the sins of the fathers or the literary legacy of the past. -- Eileen Battersby * The Irish Times * Donal Ryan is the real deal ... A brilliantly realised, utterly resonant state-of-the-nation landscape * Sunday Independent * It's furious, it's moving, it's darkly funny, it punches you right in the gut, the writing is effortlessly wonderful, and every one of the wide variety of voices rings utterly true. -- Tana French * New York Times * Filled with light and shade, love and tragedy ... if it was a song you could sing it -- Anne Enright
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