The Spinning Heart
By: Donal Ryan
SHORTLISTED FOR THE IMPAC AWARD 2014
WINNER OF THE GUARDAN FIRST BOOK AWARD 2013
LONG LISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2013
BOOK OF THE YEAR AND NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR 2012 – BORD GAÍS ENERGY AWARDS
‘What a writer! The best first novel I’ve read in years and years and years.’ Jennifer Johnston
‘Structurally [The Spinning Heart] gestures to William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying, while Ryan’s sensitive observations on Irish life seem responsive to the work of his compatriot Patrick McCabe. That Ryan does not look out of place in such literary company is a measure of his achievement.’ The Financial Times
‘Of course, the traditional epithet for a good first novelis ‘promising’. The Spinning Heart, however, is far more than that. Instead, it’s the unambiguous announcement of a genuine and apparently fully formed new talent.’ The Spectator
‘I was hugely impressed by The Spinning Heart. There will be many novels which explore the effect of the crash on the people of Ireland but I can’t imagine a more original, more perceptive or more passionate work than this. Outstanding.’ John Boyne
‘My father still lives back the road past the weir in the cottage I was reared in. I go there every day to see is he dead and every day he lets me down. He hasn’t yet missed a day of letting me down.’
The fallout of Ireland’s financial collapse provokes dangerous tensions in a small Irish town. As the consequences of greed affect an entire community, a drama of kidnap and murder unfolds. Through a chorus of unique voices, each struggling with their own version of truth, a single authentic tale emerges.
This exhilarating debut captures the language and spirit of rural Ireland. Taking on the mantle of Synge and O’Casey, the author expresses the torment and tenderness of a generation. Witty, dark and poignant, The Spinning Heart speaks for contemporary Ireland like no other novel.
DONAL RYAN was born in a village in North Tipperary.. He wrote the first draft of The Spinning Heart in the long summer evenings of 2010. He lives just outside Limerick city with his wife and two young children.
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