Robinson
2015 Shortlist

Sparta

artwork-image

ABOUT
THE BOOK

2015 Shortlist

Judges’ Comments

Sparta is a powerful novel about an American soldier – a classics scholar – returning home from Iraq, damaged in ways that the people around him can not begin to comprehend. Robinson’s story takes the reader from the US to Falluja and Haditha and back again, and shows us how we expect our soldiers  to return to our lives as though they never left, to shoulder the burdens of war without showing any strain. It is a novel of great tenderness and humanity.

About the Book

Going from peace to war can make a young man into a warrior. Going from war to peace can destroy him.

Conrad Farrell has no family military heritage, but as a classics major at Williams College, he has encountered the powerful appeal of the Marine Corps ethic. “Semper Fidelis” comes straight from the ancient world, from Sparta, where every citizen doubled as a full-time soldier. When Conrad graduates, he joins the Marines to continue a long tradition of honor, courage, and commitment.

As Roxana Robinson’s new novel, Sparta, begins, Conrad has just returned home to Katonah, New York, after four years in Iraq, and he’s beginning to learn that something has changed in his landscape. Something has gone wrong, though things should be fine: he hasn’t been shot or wounded; he’s never had psychological troubles. But as he attempts to reconnect with his family and his girlfriend and to find his footing in the civilian world, he learns how hard it is to return to the people and places he used to love. His life becomes increasingly difficult to negotiate: he can’t imagine his future, can’t recover his past, and can’t bring himself to occupy his present. As weeks turn into months, Conrad feels himself trapped in a life that’s constrictive and incomprehensible, and he fears that his growing rage will have irreparable consequences.

(From Publisher)

About the Author

Roxana Robinson is the author of four previous novels, three collections of short stories, and the biography Georgia O’Keeffe: A Life. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, The New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, More, and Vogue, among other publications.

Librarian’s Comments

A searing portrayal of the experience of a classics scholar and Iraq war veteran who returns home from the war to find he no longer belongs in either world.

ABOUT
THE AUTHOR Roxana
Robinson

We're sorry, but we couldn't find any translators matching your search. Please try using different keywords or check back later as we regularly update our collection.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Publisher
Farrar, Straus and Giroux

RELATED FEATURES

News January 16 2024

2024 Dublin Literary Award Longlist Revealed

With books nominated by 80 libraries from 35 countries, 4 novels by Irish authors are in the running for the €100,000 prize sponsored by Dublin City Council
News November 28 2023

2024 Dublin Literary Award Judges Announced

Meet our judging panel for 2024 Dublin Literary Award
Video June 2 2023

Highlights from the 2023 Dublin Literary Award Ceremony

Katja Oskamp and translator Jo Heinrich win the prize for Marzahn, Mon Amour.
Video May 26 2023

2023 Award Winners in Conversation with Rick O’Shea

Author, Katja Oskamp and translator, Jo Heinrich in conversation.

STAY CONNECTED

Stay in touch and sign up to our newsletter to receive all the latest news and updates on the Dublin Literary Award.