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The Spinning Heart by Donal Ryan

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Winner of the Guardian First Book Award 2013.

The Spinning Heart speaks for contemporary Ireland like no other novel. Wry, vulnerable, all-too human, it captures the language and spirit of rural Ireland and with uncanny perception articulates the words and thoughts of a generation. Technically daring and evocative of Patrick McCabe and J.M. Synge, this novel of small-town life is witty, dark and sweetly poignant. Donal Ryan's brilliantly realized debut announces a stunning new voice in literary fiction.

Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2013.

If you like Donal Ryan you might also like to read books by ColmToibin, Colum McCann and Diane Chamberlain.


The Spinning Heart by Donal Ryan

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. In the aftermath of Ireland's financial collapse, dangerous tensions surface in an Irish town. As violence flares, the characters face a battle between public persona and inner desires. Through a chorus of unique voices, each struggling to tell their own kind of truth, a single authentic tale unfolds.

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'I was hugely impressed by The Spinning Heart. There will be many novels which explore the effect of the crash on the people of Ireland but I can't imagine a more original, more perceptive or more passionate work than this. Outstanding.' -- John Boyne

'Most beautifully written and plotted. What a writer! It is amazing to read about such grief and pain and yet end up elevated by the quality of the writing. A wonderful book.' -- Jennifer Johnston

'An ambitious exploration of contemporary Ireland, The Spinning Heart uncovers a fragmented, troubled society struggling under the weight of betrayal and regret.' -- Sorcha Hamilton The Irish Times

About the Author

Donal Ryan was born in a village in north Tipperary, a stroll from the shores of Lough Derg. Donal wrote the first draft of The Spinning Heart in the long summer evenings of 2010, and has also completed a second novel. He lives with his wife Anne Marie and two children just outside Limerick City.

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Book Info

Publication date

27th June 2013


Donal Ryan

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Doubleday Ireland an imprint of Transworld Publishers Ireland Ltd




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