Winner of the Guardian First Book Award 2013
Shortlisted for the Dublin IMPAC Literary Award 2014
Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2013
Winner of Book of the Year at the Irish Book Awards 2012
“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.
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.
Funny, moving and beautifully written
Filled with light and shade, love and tragedy ... if it was a song you could sing it
It’s furious, it’s moving, it’s darkly funny, it punches you right in the gut, the writing is effortlessly wonderful, and every one of the wide variety of voices rings utterly true.
Donal Ryan is the real deal … A brilliantly realised, utterly resonant state-of-the-nation landscape
Donal Ryan’s precise and evocative debut … is a textured account of a community as it was during a brief moment of time. … unexpectedly tender … Ryan’s prism of life and lives is compellingly humane. … This is an exciting, relevant and believable contemporary novel about the lost and the wounded that listens to the present without discarding either the sins of the fathers or the literary legacy of the past.
We’ve gathered some of our favourite contemporary Irish love stories for you to curl up with. Whether you’re looking for family drama, or timeless love, we’ve got the perfect book.
Donal Ryan explains how his long ago encounter with a Traveller fortune teller inspired his latest novel, All We Shall Know