The Spinning Heart

The Spinning Heart

Summary

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.

Reviews

  • Funny, moving and beautifully written
    Edna O'Brien

About the author

Donal Ryan

Donal Ryan is an award-winning author from Nenagh, County Tipperary, whose work has been published in over twenty languages to major critical acclaim. The Spinning Heart won the Guardian First Book Award, the EU Prize for Literature (Ireland), and Book of the Year at the Irish Book Awards; it was shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Desmond Elliott Prize, and was voted 'Irish Book of the Decade'. His fourth novel, From a Low and Quiet Sea, was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award 2018, and won the Jean Monnet Prize for European Literature. His most recent novel, Strange Flowers, was voted Novel of the Year at the Irish Book Awards, and was a number one bestseller. Donal lectures in Creative Writing at the University of Limerick. He lives with his wife Anne Marie and their two children just outside Limerick City.
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