This is the Country
By William Wall
A startling light is cast into Ireland's darker corners in the new Booker-longlisted novel by the author of THE MAP OF TENDERNESS
In an Ireland far removed from the familiar images of travel brochures, a bright teenager is heading for trouble: son of a single mother who has given up, rarely at school, taking drugs, and hovering on the fringes of the city's criminal underworld.
When he falls for Pat The Baker's sister his life changes irrevocably, not least because when she gets pregnant, Pat breaks his legs. But as he tries to make a new start and adjust to being a lover and father, he realises he cannot evade vengeance forever.
THIS IS THE COUNTRY is a hard-hitting, tense and deeply moving novel that sets power and corruption against the fragile defences of love, friendship and family. As gritty as it is tender, as funny as it is dark, it tells a riveting tale of survival against the odds.
William Wall's three previous novels, ALICE FALLING, MINDING CHILDREN and THE MAP OF TENDERNESS, have all been published by Sceptre to critical acclaim. He is also an award winning poet and short story writer, and the author of several works of fiction for children. He is married with two children and lives in County Cork, Ireland.
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- Publication date:
27 Feb 2006
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A genuine literary talent, with a poet's gift for apposite, wry observation, dialogue and character . . . a masterful, ironic book of loss and bitter optimism, money and poverty, the impossible divide between city and country — Guardian
[An] elegiac tale of loss and dispossession . . . Wall is too astringent a storyteller to fob his readers off with a feel-good ending. But he is also sufficiently poetic in his use of language to infuse the struggles of his hero with deep human feeling. — Sunday Telegraph
A raw and uncompromising but tender portrait of Ireland in the here and now . . . In THIS IS THE COUNTRY he has redefined a female icon, one you might have thought you knew - Mother Ireland. She is not pretty but she is utterly authentic. — Irish Independent
'A compelling picture of a land of lost souls.' — Times Literary Supplement
A terrific novel . . . THIS IS THE COUNTRY stands out because it stares directly at the dark side of contemporary Ireland without looking away, or even blinking. In the parlance of the Irish, it's a mint piece of work. It deserves a place on the shelf alongside William Trevor and Edna O'Brien. — David Means