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Academy Street by Mary Costello
  

Academy Street

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Shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award 2014.

Joyous and heart-breaking, restrained but sweeping, this is a profoundly moving story that charts one woman's quest for belonging amid the dazzle and tumult of America's greatest city. Academy Street establishes Mary Costello as one of Ireland's most exciting literary voices.

The Costa Judges said Costello's book was “a remarkable debut with a transcendent, quiet power.”


The Good Book Guide logo The Good Book Guide Review. This absorbing novel tells the story of Tess, a quiet girl who grows up in the west of Ireland. Although, her family are well off, Tess joins the exodus to the USA, where she briefly finds love against the backdrop of New York in the sixties, a world away from her homeland, much more liberal but a lot less loving. A sparse yet remarkably moving first novel.
~ Anthony Lafferty

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Synopsis

Academy Street by Mary Costello

Shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award 2014.

As heard on BBC Radio 4 Book At Bedtime. She stood on the edge of the grass. She hovered between worlds, deciphering the ground, tracing in mid-air the hall, the dining-room, the stairs. She was despairingly close to home now, to the rooms and the voices that contained the first names for home. Memories abounded and her heart pounded and history broke in ...Growing up in the west of Ireland in the 1940s Tess is a shy introverted child. But beneath her quiet exterior lies a heart of fire. A fire that will later drive her to make her home among the hurly burly of 1960s New York. Over four decades and a life lived with quiet intensity on Academy Street in upper Manhattan, Tess encounters ferocious love and calamitous loss. But what endures is her bravery and fortitude, and her striking insights even as she is 'floating close to hazard.'

Reviews

'With extraordinary devotion, Mary Costello brings to life a woman who would otherwise have faded into oblivion' -- J.M. COETZEE

'To recount a life story in a novel is a difficult task. To do so with brevity and unsentimental honesty takes greatness. Academy Street is a powerful and emotional novel from one of literature's finest new voices' -- JOHN BOYNE

'Academy Street is understated, graceful and, ultimately, devastating. Even as my heart was breaking I couldn't put the book down' -- DONAL RYAN, author of The Spinning Heart

'Intensely moving but never sentimental, Academy Street is a profound meditation on what Faulkner called 'the human heart in conflict with itself'. In Tess Lohan, Mary Costello has created one of the most fully realised characters in contemporary fiction. What a marvel of a book' -- RON RASH

'Mary Costello's writing has the kind of urgency that the great problems demand - call them themes; they are the kind of problems that make a writer' -- ANNE ENRIGHT Guardian

About the Author

Mary Costello grew up in County Galway. Her collection of short stories, The China Factory, was nominated for the Guardian First Book Award. Her stories have been published in various anthologies and broadcast on radio. She lives in Dublin.

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Book Info

Publication date

30th October 2014

Author

Mary Costello

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Publisher

Canongate Books Ltd

Format

Hardback
192 pages

Categories

Literary Fiction
All Shortlists and Winners
eBook Favourites
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

ISBN

9781782114185

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