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The Spinning Heart

Author(s): Donal Ryan

General Fiction

This is the winner of the Guardian First Book Award 2013. It is longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2013. It is the winner of Book of the Year at the Irish Book Awards 2012. "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." 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. Donal Ryan's brilliantly realized debut announces a stunning new voice in literary fiction.


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Stunning debut novel from a new Irish writer.

Winner of Guardian First Book Award 2013 and Bord Gais Energy Irish Book Awards: Book of the Year 2013. Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2013.

"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 "Most beautifully written and plotted. What a writer! It is amazing to read about such grief and pain and yet end up elevated by the quality of the writing. A wonderful book." -- Jennifer Johnston "An ambitious exploration of contemporary Ireland, The Spinning Heart uncovers a fragmented, troubled society struggling under the weight of betrayal and regret." -- Sorcha Hamilton The Irish Times ".a first novel that's . up-to-date in its concerns but that also transcends the merely topical in its bleak, if often savagely funny, vision of a rural Ireland . There are echoes . of Patrick McCabe's stray sod country, though Tipperary-born Donal Ryan has an imaginative insight into his characters that's all his own and a furious energy to his prose that gives arrestingly vivid life to these blighted souls. . a darkly persuasive debut." -- John Boland Irish Independent "[An] extraordinarily accomplished first novel. here is a new Irish writer of the very first order. Donal Ryan is the real deal. . a brilliantly realised, utterly resonant state-of-the-nation landscape . Ryan's feat is considerable. Narrative and character information is distributed among so many different voices and yet we never feel at a loss. Even the characters on the margins of the story . add compelling colour and texture. Best of all, Ryan's ear for speech is acute. . Given a novel as brilliantly realised as The Spinning Heart, I see no reason to look anywhere but the present. For Donal Ryan, the future is now." -- Declan Hughes Sunday Independent

Donal Ryan was born in a village in north Tipperary, a stroll from the shores of Lough Derg. Donal wrote the first draft of The Spinning Heart in the long summer evenings of 2010, and has also completed a second novel. He lives with his wife Anne Marie and two children just outside Limerick City.

General Fields

  • : 9781781620083
  • : Transworld Publishers Ireland Ltd
  • : Doubleday Ireland
  • : 0.122
  • : August 2013
  • : 198mm X 127mm
  • : October 2013
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Donal Ryan
  • : Paperback
  • : 1
  • : 224