Ryan3
2014 Shortlist

The Spinning Heart

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ABOUT
THE BOOK

‘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.

Judges’ Comments

The Spinning Heart is a brilliant, witty and stylishly crafted debut novel not only about the complex impact of the recent painful economic recession in rural Ireland, but also – and most of all – about the intricate workings of the human heart, as well as the emotional and moral crisis of the contemporary world at large. It is uncanny how true this novel rings in all the aspects of its careful, modest depiction of small-town life at the break of the 21st century. One could certainly call this book the Irish Winesburg, Ohio, and Donal Ryan a dazzling new voice in Irish literature.

ABOUT
THE AUTHOR Donal
Ryan

Donal Ryan is from Nenagh in County Tipperary. His first two novels, The Spinning Heart and The Thing About December, and his short story collection A Slanting of the Sun, have all been published to major acclaim. The Spinning Heart won the Guardian First Book Award, the EU Prize for Literature (Ireland), and Book of the Year at the Irish Book Awards; it was shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award; and longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Desmond Elliott Prize. The Thing About December was shortlisted for the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year and Novel of the Year at the Irish Book Awards, and the title story of A Slanting of the Sun won the writing.ie Short Story of the Year at the Irish Book Awards. Donal holds a Writing Fellowship at the University of Limerick. He lives with his wife Anne Marie and their two children just outside Limerick City.

Donal Ryan is from Nenagh in County Tipperary. His first two novels, The Spinning Heart and The Thing About December, and his short story collection A Slanting of the Sun, have all been published to major acclaim. The Spinning Heart won the Guardian First Book Award, the EU Prize for Literature (Ireland), and Book of the Year at the Irish Book Awards; it was shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award; and longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Desmond Elliott Prize. The Thing About December was shortlisted for the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year and Novel of the Year at the Irish Book Awards, and the title story of A Slanting of the Sun won the writing.ie Short Story of the Year at the Irish Book Awards. Donal holds a Writing Fellowship at the University of Limerick. He lives with his wife Anne Marie and their two children just outside Limerick City.

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NOMINATING LIBRARY COMMENTS

A very impressive debut novel from a natural storyteller. A perceptive exploration of post-Celtic Tiger Ireland told with sympathy and passion.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Date published
19/12/2013
Author
Publisher
Doubleday

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