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Arimathea by Frank McGuinness


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A passionate, poetic debut novel from Irish Playwright and Poet Frank McGuiness. 1940’s Donegal and an Italian Painter arrives to work and nothing and no-one is the same afterwards. Told with multiple voices it is a book of close observation, sharp wit, linguistic dexterity - and of deep sympathy for everyday humanity.

Shortlisted for the Irish Book Awards Novel of the Year 2013.


Arimathea by Frank McGuinness

'The great spirit of Frank McGuinness radiates in this magnificent novel. Myriad voices converge on one glistening core; it is a high-wire act earthed in the deepest humanity.' Sebastian Barry It is 1950. Donegal. A land apart. Derry city is only fourteen miles away but far beyond daily reach. Into this community comes Gianni, also called Giotto at his birth. A painter from Arrezzo in Italy, he has been commissioned to paint the Stations of the Cross. The young Italian comes with his dark skin, his unusual habits, but also his solitude and his own peculiar personal history. He is a major source of fascination for the entire community. A book of close observation, sharp wit, linguistic dexterity - and of deep sympathy for ordinary, everyday humanity.


'prose that could be described as musical ... it is hard not to be charmed ... elegant and thoughtful, often funny, never dull or repetitive' -- Irish Echo

'wonderful' -- Woman's Way

' in his willingness to leave the rest unresolved ... Frank McGuinness creates something both beautiful and new' -- The Guardian

About the Author

Frank McGuinness

Frank McGuinness is Professor of Creative Writing in University College Dublin. A world-renowned playwright, his first great stage hit was the highly acclaimed Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme. Arimathea is his first novel, a major event.

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Book Info

Publication date

18th June 2015


Frank McGuinness

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Brandon an imprint of O'Brien Press Ltd


304 pages


Literary Fiction
All Shortlists and Winners
Family Drama
eBook Favourites

Historical fiction



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