Return to Killybegs
Publication Date: April 2013
Return to Killybegs, longlisted for the 2015 International Impac Award
Tyrone Meehan, damned as an informer, ekes out his days in Donegal, awaiting his killers.
‘Now that everything is out in the open, they will all speak in my place – the IRA, the British, my family, my close friends, journalists I’ve never even met. Some of them will go so far as to explain how and why I ended up a traitor … Do not trust my enemies, and even less my friends. Ignore those who will say they knew me. Nobody has ever walked in my shoes, nobody. The only reason I’m talking today is because I am the only one who can tell the truth. After I’m gone, I hope for silence.’
Return to Killybegs is the story of a traitor to Belfast’s Catholic community, emerging from the white heat of a prolonged war during the 1970s and 1980s in Northern Ireland. This powerful work, lauded by critics, shortlisted for the Prix Goncourt and awarded the Grand Prix de Roman de l’Académie Française, deals with a subject that touches a nerve for most Irish people: the all-too-human circumstances of betrayal and survival. It is an extraordinary and affecting read.
SORJ CHALANDON, journalist and novelist, spent formative years on assignment to Northern Ireland as a reporter for Libération during the Troubles. My Traitor (Lilliput, 2011), a prequel to this book, was first published to acclaim in France in 2007, winning the Prix Joseph Kessel and the Prix Jean Freustié.
URSULA MEANY SCOTT is a literary translator from French and Spanish. She holds an M. Phil in literary translation from Trinity College, Dublin, and her translations have appeared in two volumes of the Best European Fiction series to date.
‘French journalist Sorj Chalandon has gone where too many Irish writers fear to tread.’ – from the Afterword by Ed Moloney
PRAISE FOR THE FRENCH EDITION:
‘There are beautiful characters in this novel, strong dialogue, digressions, rifts and retrospection.’ – Le Figaro Litteraire
‘Harrowing!’ – La Marseillaise
‘Moving and heart-breaking, Sorj Chalandon’s novel tells of a tragic saga – in this case the history of Ireland, that divided, wounded country. This is a book of profound humanity, marvellously written. With the words and tears of silence.’ – Le Nouvel Observateur
‘Amongst the most powerful of novels …’ – Les Echos
‘Superb … it’s as much a book on Ireland and her national tragedy as it is about friendship and love betrayed.’ – L’Hebdo
‘A relentless novel full of noise, fury, rain and sweat … The story is often upsetting, and utterly sublime.’ – Figaro Magazine
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