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Sebastian Barry was born in Dublin in 1955. His plays include The Steward of Christendom and The Pride of Parnell Street and his novels include The Whereabouts of Eneas McNulty, Annie Dunne, A Long Long Way and The Secret Scripture. A Long Long Way was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Dublin International Impac Prize, and was the Dublin: One City One Book for 2007. The Secret Scripture won the Costa Book of the Year award, the Irish Book Awards Best Novel, the Independent Booksellers Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. He lives in Wicklow with his wife and three children.
Photo credit: ©Alan Betson, The Irish Times
Nearing her one-hundredth birthday, Roseanne McNulty faces an uncertain future, as the Roscommon Regional Mental hospital where she's spent the best part of her adult life prepares for closure. In this book, her story becomes an alternative, secret history of Ireland's changing character. Costa Book Awards 2008 Judges' comment: "A heartbreaking and lyrical tale of loss, betrayal and redemption." Winner of the Independent Booksellers’ Book Prize 2009 Winner of the Costa Book of the Year Award 2008. Winner of the Costa Novel Award 2008. Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2008.
February 2015 Book of the Month. Like Roddy Doyle, Sebastian Barry is one of those great Irish writers whose characters get under your skin and whose stories stay with you forever. The Temporary Gentleman is the third book very loosely charting the lives of the McNulty brothers, and even more loosely based on the stories Barry’s grandfather told him about the war. Jack McNulty is far from the most reliable of narrators and this lyrical tale is full of plenty of twists, of memory as well as life, as Jack remembers back through his life and where it all went wrong.
April 2012 Book of the Month. Getting a copy of a new novel from award-winning Sebastian Barry in the office is always a treat and his latest is simply superb. Spanning nearly seven decades, it is a devastating and beautiful novel of memory, war, family-ties and love, which once again displays Sebastian Barry's exquisite prose and gift for storytelling. Shortlisted for the Galaxy International Author of the Year Award 2011. Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2011.
One of the most vivid and realised characters of recent fiction, Willie Dunne is the innocent hero of Sebastian Barry's highly acclaimed novel. Leaving Dublin to fight for the Allied cause as a member of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers, he finds himself caught between the war playing out on foreign fields and that festering at home, waiting to erupt with the Easter Rising. Profoundly moving, intimate and epic, A Long Long Way charts and evokes a terrible coming of age, one too often written out of history.
Ot finalista Bukerovskoj premii, klassika sovremennoj prozy, kotorogo nazyvali "e;nesravnennym hronikerom zhizni, utrachennoj bezvozvratno"e; (Irish Independent), - "e;shedevr stilya i atmosfery, otchasti pohozhij na knigi Kormaka Makkarti"e; (Booklist), roman, poluchivshij prestizhnuyu premiyu Costa Award, ocherednoj ehpizod sagi o semejstve Maknalti. S Rozannoj Maknalti otechestvennyj chitatel' uzhe znakom po romanu "e;Skrizhali sud'by"e; (v 2017 godu ehkranizirovannomu shestikratnym nominantom "e;Oskara"e; Dzhimmi SHeridanom, roli ispolnili Runi Mara, Teo Dzhejms, EHrik Bana, Vanessa Redgrejv) - a teper' poznakom'tes' s Tomasom Maknalti. Semnadcatiletnim pokinuv ohvachennuyu golodom rodnuyu Irlandiyu, on okazyvaetsya v SSHA; emu pridetsya projti ispytanie vojnoj, razlukoj i nevozmozhnoj lyubov'yu, no on nikogda ne izmenit sebe, i ot pervoj do poslednej stranicy v nem "e;sochetayutsya p'yanyashchaya ostrota slova i sposobnost' izumlyat'sya miru"e; (The New York Times Book Review)Udivitel'noe i neozhidannoe chudo"e; - tak otozvalsya o "e;Beskonechnyh dnyah"e; Kadzuo Isiguro, laureat Bukerovskoj i Nobelevskoj premii.
From the Costa Book of the Year-winning author of Days Without End Even when you come out of bloodshed and disaster in the end you have got to learn to live. Winona is a young Lakota orphan adopted by former soldiers Thomas McNulty and John Cole. Living with Thomas and John on the farm they work in 1870s Tennessee, she is educated and loved, forging a life for herself beyond the violence and dispossession of her past. But the fragile harmony of her unlikely family unit, in the aftermath of the Civil War, is soon threatened by a further traumatic event, one which Winona struggles to confront, let alone understand. Told in Sebastian Barry's rare and masterly prose, A Thousand Moons is a powerful, moving study of one woman's journey, of her determination to write her own future, and of the enduring human capacity for love. 'Nobody writes like, nobody takes lyrical risks like, nobody pushes the language, and the heart, and the two together, quite like Sebastian Barry does.' ALI SMITH
Now we've lived together in contentment, more or less, for nigh on twenty year. Like turtle doves. - In prison, I mean, for fuck's sake, the chances of that. PJ and Christy: sworn enemies destined to share one small room for twenty years. As the two men recall the joys and torments of life outside - the childhood excursions, a deadly brawl, past loves and summer dresses - slowly they uncover the tragic events that have lead them to their cell in Montjoy. A play that explores our capacity to commit the deadliest of crimes but also our capacity for survival, reconciliation and love, On Blueberry Hill by Sebastian Barry (twice winner of the Costa Book of the Year) premiered in a Fishamble production at the Pavilion Theatre as part of the Dublin Theatre Festival and at the Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris in October 2017.
Ot klassika sovremennoj prozy, kotorogo nazyvali "e;nesravnennym hronikerom zhizni, utrachennoj bezvozvratno (Irish Independent), - "e;shedevr literatury, triumf stilya, ne churayushchijsya i priemov detektivnogo zhanra (Sunday Business Post), roman, voshedshij v short-list Bukerovskoj premii i poluchivshij prestizhnuyu premiyu Costa Award. "e;Neveroyatno krasivym i zhivym yazykom, pul'siruyushchim, podobno pesne (Th e New York Times) Barri rasskazyvaet istoriyu Rozanny Maknalti, v molodosti - neotrazimoj krasavicy, kotoraya bol'shuyu chast' zhizni provela v psihiatricheskoj klinike. Rozanna sidela tam tak dolgo, chto uzhe nikto ne pomnit, pochemu ona tam okazalas'. I vot sud'boj zagadochnoj pacientki zainteresovalsya novyj glavvrach doktor Gren. Odnazhdy on obnaruzhivaet spryatannyj dnevnik Rozanny: v techenie neskol'kih desyatiletij ona zapisyvala svoi vospominaniya. V ehtih memuarah - tajna ee zaklyucheniya i rasskaz o porazitel'noj zhizni i vsepogloshchayushchej lyubvi, strastnoj, muchitel'noj, tragicheskoj...
A stunning new novel from the Man Booker shortlisted author of The Secret Scripture In this highly anticipated new novel, Irishman Jack McNulty is a "e;temporary gentleman"e;-an Irishman whose commission in the British army in WWII was never permanent. Sitting in his lodgings in Accra, Ghana, in 1957, he's writing the story of his life with desperate urgency. He cannot take one step further without examining all of the extraordinary events that he has seen. A lifetime of war and world travel-as a soldier in WWII, an engineer, a UN observer-has brought him to this point. But the memory that weighs heaviest on his heart is that of the beautiful Mai Kirwan and their tempestuous, heartbreaking marriage. Mai was once the great beauty of Sligo, a magnetic yet unstable woman who, after sharing a life with Jack, gradually slipped from his grasp. Award-winning author Sebastian Barry's The Temporary Gentleman is the sixth book in his cycle of separate yet interconnected novels that brilliantly reimagine characters from Barry's own family.
From the two-time Man Booker short-listed author of The Secret Scripture comes a magnificent new novel that is the story of the twentieth century in America. Told in the first person, as a narrative of Lilly Bere's life over seventeen days, On Canaan's Side opens as Lilly mourns the loss of her grandson, Bill. Lilly revisits her past, going back to the moment she was forced to flee Ireland at the end of the First World War, and continues her tale in America, a world filled with both hope and danger. At once epic and intimate, Lilly's story unfolds as she tries to make sense of the sorrows and troubles of her life and of the people whose lives she has touched. Spanning nearly seven decades, from the Great Depression to World War II and the Vietnam War, it is the heartbreaking story of a woman whose capability to love is enormous and whose compassion, even for those who have wronged her, is astonishing.
Celebrated children's writer Hans Christian Andersen arrives, unannounced, for a stay at Gad's Hill Place in the Kent marshes - home to Charles Dickens and his large, charismatic family. To the lonely and eccentric guest, the members of Dickens' household seem to live a life of unreachable bliss. But with his broken English, Andersen doesn't at first see the storms brewing within the family: undeclared passions, a son about to go to India, and a growing strangeness at the heart of Dickens' marriage. Andersen's English by Sebastian Barry premiered at the Theatre Royal, Bury, in February 2010 in a production by Out of Joint.
Here, now, listen, I'll tell you a tale . . . Daffodils are in bloom as dawn breaks over the foothills of Ballycumber, ushering in hope for a new day and stirring the ghosts of a past fraught with sorrow, anguish and emptiness. In search of advice, young Evans Stafford calls at the home of friend and strong-minded traditionalist, Nicholas Farquhar. The following day, as Farquhar learns the devastating consequences of this meeting, he discovers that his memories and words are governed by a buried history; a force far greater than himself. Sebastian Barry's Tales of Ballycumber premiered at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, in September 2009.
From his grave in the precincts of Canterbury Cathedral, Dallas Sweetman is called to give account. He tells a story of love and death, jealousy and miraculous happenings, of the divided loyalties of Protestants and Catholics in the Elizabethan Age. Before us, his judges, Dallas seeks to justify the actions of his life. But is he telling the truth? And can he be forgiven? The lost tradition of staging new plays at Canterbury Cathedral, most famously T. S. Eliot's Murder in the Cathedral, was revived with the premiere of Sebastian Barry's Dallas Sweetman in September 2008.
Roseanne McNulty, once one of the most beautiful and beguiling girls in County Sligo, Ireland, is now an elderly patient at a mental hospital. As her hundredth year draws near, she decides to record the events of her life but hides the manuscript. Meanwhile, the hospital is preparing to close and is evaluating which patients can return to society. Dr. Grene, Roseanne's caretaker, takes a special interest in her case. In his research, he discovers a document written by a local priest that tells a very different story of Roseanne's life than what she recalls. As doctor and patient attempt to understand each other, they begin to uncover long-buried secrets about themselves. Set against an Ireland besieged by conflict, The Secret Scripture is an epic story of love, betrayal, and unavoidable tragedy.
See, love between a man and a woman, it's - private. It happens where you never do see it. In rooms. Italy 1 - Ireland 0... The score that marked Ireland's demoralizing exit from Italia '90 took its toll. No more so than for Janet and Joe Brady of Parnell Street who lost far more than the match that night. Some years on, Joe and Janet reveal the intimacies of their love and the rupture of their marriage, through interconnecting monologues that also evoke their life-long love affair with Dublin city itself. Sebastian Barry's explores with vivid tenderness the devastating effects of public and private acts of violence. This is an intimate, heroic tale of ordinary and extraordinary life on the streets of Dublin. Fishamble's world premiere of The Pride of Parnell Street opened at the Tricycle Theatre, London, and as part of the Dublin Theatre Festival at the Tivoli Theatre, Dublin, in September 2007.
Following the end of the First World War, Eneas McNulty joins the British-led Royal Irish Constabulary. With all those around him becoming soldiers of a different kind, however, it proves to be the defining decision of his life when, having witnessed the murder of a fellow RIC policeman, he is wrongly accused of identifying the executioners. With a sentence of death passed over him he is forced to flee Sligo, his friends, family and beloved girl, Viv. What follows is the story of this flight, his subsequent wanderings, and the haunting pull of home that always afflicts him. Tender, witty, troubling and tragic, The Whereabouts of Eneas McNulty tells the secret history of a lost man.
Whistling Psyche A dark night, an old waiting room and two supposed strangers eager to reach their destinations. In the cold hours that rest between nightfall and daybreak, silent questions prompt unexpected revelations. Two souls share a passion for reform, but only one - Miss Nightingale - has been honoured. The other, Dr Barry, would never receive the same acclaim, but notoriety came after death and for a very different reason . . . Whistling Psyche premiered at the Almeida Theatre, London in May 2004. Fred and Jane explores the deep and sustaining friendship between two nuns, Anna and Beatrice, as they recall the trials and joys of religious life. 'This is Barry at his best: evocative, gentle, suffused with the beauty of the simple and the joy of turning the strange into the familiar.' Sunday Tribune 'A rare delight. A clear-running joy.' Sunday Independent 'A triumph in its own right.' RTE Fred and Jane premiered at Bewley's Cafe Theatre, Dublin in 2002.
Annie Dunne and her cousin Sarah live and work on a small farm in a remote and beautiful part of Wicklow in late 1950s Ireland. All about them the old green roads are being tarred, cars are being purchased, a way of life is about to disappear. Like two old rooks, they hold to their hill in Kelsha, cherishing everything. When Annie's nephew and his wife are set to go to London to find work, their two small children, a little boy and his older sister, are brought down to spend the summer with their grand-aunt. It is a strange chance of happiness for Annie. Against that happiness moves the figure of Billy Kerr, with his ambiguous attentions to Sarah, threatening to drive Annie from her last niche of safety in the world. The world of childish innocence also proves sometimes darkened and puzzling to her, and she struggles to find clear ground, clear light - to preserve her sense of love and place against these subtle forces of disquiet. A summer of adventure, pain, delight and ultimately epiphany unfolds for both the children and their elderly caretakers in this poignant and exquisitely told story of innocence, loss and reconciliation.
Cerebral and lyrical, he is the new crown prince of Ireland's majestic theatrical tradition (Newsweek) Mai O'Hara lies in a Dublin hospital in 1953 attended by a young nursing Sister and visited by the uneasy figures of her husband Jack, daughter Joanie and her dead father. Fuelled by alcohol, passion and despair it is the story of her flamboyant but destructive relationship with Jack, the lost country of her childhood and unfulfilled expectations in the wake of Irish independence and self-rule. Our Lady of Sligo was produced at the Royal National Theatre in co-production with Out of Joint, directed by Max Stafford-Clark, in April 1998.
The play that established Barry as one of Ireland's most powerful contemporary playwrights Thomas Dunne, ex-chief superintendent of the Dublin Metropolitan police looks back on his career built during the latter years of Queen Victoria's empire, from his home in Baltinglass in Dublin in 1932. Like King Lear, Dunne tries valiantly to break free of history and himself. The Steward of Christendom took London by storm when it premiered at the Royal Court Theatre Upstairs in March 1995 with Donal McCann in the title role. It transferred to Broadway and has toured around the world. Sebastian Barry's beautiful and devastating memory play...will stay with us for many years. (New York Times)