Kevin Powers - A Shout in the Ruins - Hodder & Stoughton

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    • ISBN:9781473667778
    • Publication date:15 May 2018
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    • ISBN:9781473667808
    • Publication date:15 May 2018

A Shout in the Ruins

By Kevin Powers

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A stunning novel about violence, power and love from the acclaimed author of The Yellow Birds.

'Achingly relevant' - Grazia

'Gorgeous and devastating' New York Times

'An American Civil War epic [which] confirms Powers as a significant talent' - Andrew Motion, Observer

'Contains moments that burn' Daily Mail

A stunning novel about violence, power and love by Kevin Powers, the acclaimed author of The Yellow Birds and winner of both the 2012 Guardian First Book Award and the Hemingway/PEN Award.


A nighttime whipping in a lamplit barn.

A ruined leg tossed onto a pile of discarded limbs.

A hand snuffing out a desperate cry behind a bedroom's locked door.


In A Shout in the Ruins, Kevin Powers returns to the battlefield and its aftermath, this time in his native Virginia, just before and during the Civil War and ninety years later. The novel pinpoints with unerring emotional depth the nature of random violence, the necessity of love and compassion, and the fragility and preciousness of life. It will endure as a stunning novel about what we leave behind, what a life is worth, what is said and unsaid, and the fact that ultimately what will survive of us is love.

Written with the same emotional intensity, harrowing realism, and poetic precision that made The Yellow Birds one of the most celebrated novels of the past decade, A Shout in the Ruins cements Powers' place as one of the most important novelists of our time.

'Beautifully formed sentences express unsettling truths about humanity, yet tendrils of hope emerge, showing how love and kindness can take root in seemingly barren earth.' - Sarah Johnson, Booklist

Biographical Notes

Kevin Powers was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia. A former soldier who served with the US army in Iraq in 2004-5, he studied English at Virginia Commonwealth University after his honorable discharge and received an MFA in Poetry from the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin. His debut novel, The Yellow Birds, won the Guardian First book Award, the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award, and was a finalist for the National Book Award. His first collection of poetry, Letter Composed During a Lull in the Fighting, was published in 2014 and was shortlisted for both the TS Eliot Prize and the Forward Prize.

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  • ISBN: 9781473667792
  • Publication date: 15 May 2018
  • Page count:
  • Imprint: Sceptre
An American Civil War epic [which] confirms Powers as a significant talent. — Andrew Motion, Observer
'Gorgeous, devastating... As in his first novel, The Yellow Birds, Powers details these inhumane acts with elegance, restraint and a refreshing absence of sentimentality. His spare, meticulous sentences lend a perverse beauty to even the most brutal passages of the novel and give immediacy and emotional heft to the ordeals of its characters... lays bare the tremendous suffering on which our country was founded and demands its acknowledgment. But Powers also offers love and grace in these pages, and a prayer for redemption. — New York Times
A work of historical fiction that is as unflinching an examination of our capacity for cruelty and violence as his debut. . . Powers packs much into a relatively short work. . . there is no mistaking the intensity of his vision and his ability to conjure up scenes that stick in the mind. . . A novel that memorably illustrates not only the ways in which violence breeds further violence but also the unrelenting power of the past to shape the present. — Sunday Times
Powers's prose is lyrical. . . his evocation of slavery-era Richmond is powerfully achieved. — Siobhan Murphy, The Times
The writing is beautiful and powerful. A Shout in the Ruins is confirmation, if it were needed, that Kevin Powers is a writer of rare talent. — FT
Ranging across time and following several characters whose lives become entangled by chance, family connection and conflict, Powers returns here - with similar, admirable compression - to themes he took up in his celebrated debut, The Yellow Birds . . . A Shout in the Ruins illuminates an entire lost era. — Laird Hunt, Literary Review
A harrowing and lyrical epic in miniature, Powers has written a novel excavated from another time, but which speaks profoundly to this one. — Elliot Ackerman, author of Dark at the Crossing
A daring voyage into and out of the darkest era in American history. — Observer
One of the chief rewards of this novel is that it speaks very much to the present through the generational interplay of its characters . . . It is told subtly and with great empathy: Powers once again demonstrates the precise eye for imagery and detail that is becoming the hallmark of his work. — Elliot Ackerman, TLS
This troubling, stirring book is informed by Mr Powers's deep understanding of war's complexities, and of how people are broken and shaped by it. — The Economist
With a complex structure reminiscent of Faulkner, Powers adroitly weaves his narrative threads together with subtle connections that reinforce his themes of longing for coherence and the continuing effect of the past on the present. An impressive novel of slavery, destruction, and the arduous difficulties of love. — Kirkus
Achingly relevant. — Grazia
Possesses the same intimate, lyrical power as his haunting debut . . . This is a fine, relevant novel from a notable author. — BookPage
Contains moments that burn. — Daily Mail
Suitably unvarnished, but not without moments of beauty or deep emotion. A Shout in the Ruins brushes aside myth and romanticism for a clear-eyed look at America. — Shelf Awareness
Beautifully formed sentences express unsettling truths about humanity, yet tendrils of hope emerge, showing how love and kindness can take root in seemingly barren earth. — Sarah Johnson, Bookli
Kevin Powers has seamlessly woven nineteenth and twentieth century lives to create a novel that resonates out of the past to address the most timely issues of America in our own century. The same striking language and contemplation of war and its aftermath that made The Yellow Birds such a lauded debut is on full display in A Shout in the Ruins. What an impressive novel. — Ron Rash
A masterpiece. Powers has written a novel that includes all the ferocity, complexity, and racial violence of the American South, from its fall to its eventual rebirth. — Philipp Meyer
This second novel, set in Powers's hometown of Richmond, VA, probes the grip of traumatic memory in the aftermath of the Civil War . . . A masterly meditation on our unbreakable connection to a world predicated on cyclical violence. — Joshua Finnell, Colgate University, Hamilton, NY
PRAISE FOR THE YELLOW BIRDS: Extraordinary . . . beautifully accomplished. The mark of an artist of the first order . . . a must-read book. — John Burnside, Guardian
A masterpiece . . . a classic. — The Times Books of the Year
A stunning achievement - visceral [and] poignant. — Sunday Times
Remarkable for its intensity of both feeling and expression. In this book about death, every line is a defiant assertion of the power of beauty to revivify, whether beauty shows itself in nature or (later) in art. — Hilary Mantel, Guardian Books of the Year
A wonderful, powerful novel that moves and terrifies. — Independent
Harrowing, inexplicably beautiful, and utterly, urgently necessary. — Ann Patchett
Kevin Powers has conjured a poetic and devastating account of war's effect on the individual. — Damian Lewis
Written with an intensity which is deeply compelling. — Colm Tóibín
This is a novel I've been waiting for. The Yellow Birds is born from experience and rendered with compassion and intelligence. All of us owe Kevin Powers our heartfelt gratitude. — Alice Sebold
Powers has written a compassionate, poetic evocation of war and its legacy which has already been hailed as a classic of its genre. — Sunday Express Books of the Year
Sceptre

Letter Composed During a Lull in the Fighting

Kevin Powers
Authors:
Kevin Powers

Shortlisted for the 2014 TS Eliot PrizeShortlisted for the 2014 Forward Prize for Best First CollectionPoetry Book Society ChoiceIn this remarkable debut poetry collection, National Book Award finalist and Iraq war veteran Kevin Powers creates a startling, affecting portrait of a life shaped by war. LETTER COMPOSED DURING A LULL IN THE FIGHTING captures the many moments that comprise a soldier's life: driving down the Texas highway; waiting for the unknown in the dry Iraq heat; writing a love letter; listening to a mother recount her dreams. Written with honesty and insight, these poems strive to make sense of war and its echoes through human experience.Just as THE YELLOW BIRDS was hailed as the 'first literary masterpiece produced by the Iraq war,' (Los Angeles Times) this collection will prove to be a powerful, enduring classic.

Sceptre

The Yellow Birds

Kevin Powers
Authors:
Kevin Powers

WINNER OF THE GUARDIAN FIRST BOOK AWARD 2012WINNER OF THE HEMINGWAY/PEN AWARD 2012NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALISTAN AMAZON EDITOR'S PICK: BEST BOOKS OF 2012 A NEW YORK TIMES TOP TEN BOOK OF THE YEARA TIMES BOOK OF THE YEARAN INDEPENDENT BOOK OF THE YEAR A TLS BOOK OF THE YEARAN EVENING STANDARD BOOK OF THE YEARA SUNDAY EXPRESS BOOK OF THE YEARA GUARDIAN BOOK OF THE YEAR A NEW YORK TIMES BOOK OF THE YEARA SCOTSMAN BOOK OF THE YEARA SUNDAY HERALD BOOK OF THE YEARAN IRISH TIMES BOOK OF THE YEAR An unforgettable depiction of the psychological impact of war, by a young Iraq veteran and poet, THE YELLOW BIRDS is already being hailed as a modern classic.Everywhere John looks, he sees Murph.He flinches when cars drive past. His fingers clasp around the rifle he hasn't held for months. Wide-eyed strangers praise him as a hero, but he can feel himself disappearing. Back home after a year in Iraq, memories swarm around him: bodies burning in the crisp morning air. Sunlight falling through branches; bullets kicking up dust; ripples on a pond wavering like plucked strings. The promise he made, to a young man's mother, that her son would be brought home safely.With THE YELLOW BIRDS, poet and veteran Kevin Powers has composed an unforgettable account of friendship and loss. It vividly captures the desperation and brutality of war, and its terrible after-effects. But it is also a story of love, of great courage, and of extraordinary human survival. Written with profound emotional insight, especially into the effects of a hidden war on families at home, THE YELLOW BIRDS is one of the most haunting, true and powerful novels of our time.'THE YELLOW BIRDS is the All Quiet on the Western Front of America's Arab Wars.'(Tom Wolfe, author of The Bonfire of the Vanities )'Kevin Powers has conjured a poetic and devastating account of war's effect on the individual.'(Damian Lewis, star of Homeland and Band of Brothers )'Inexplicably beautiful'.(Ann Patchett, Orange Prize-winning author of Bel Canto and State of Wonder)

Adélaïde de Clermont-Tonnerre

This is Adélaïde de Clermont-Tonnerre's second novel. Her first, Fourrure, won five literary prizes in France. Le Dernier des Nôtres was the winner of both the Académie Francaise Grand Prix du Roman and the 2016 inaugural Filigranes prize, awarded to the book with the widest general appeal. It was on the longlist for the 2016 Renaudot prize, on the shortlist of four for the 2016 Landerneau prize, longlisted for the Prix de Flore.

Adrian Plass

Adrian Plass is one of the most-loved Christian writers in the UK. He is the bestselling author of The Sacred Diary of Adrian Plass Aged 37¾ - which with its various sequels has sold millions of copies around the world. A somewhat bemused Anglican, Adrian and his wife Bridget live in the north of England travel widely to speak in churches, prisons, schools, and at festivals and literary events in the UK and around the world.

Allen Eskens

Allen Eskens is the USA Today bestselling author of The Life We Bury, The Guise of Another, The Heavens May Fall, and The Deep Dark Descending. He is the recipient of the Barry Award, the Rosebud Award, and the Silver Falchion Award, and has been a finalist for the Edgar Award, the Thriller Award, the Anthony Award, and the Minnesota Book Award. His debut novel, The Life We Bury, has been published in 16 languages and is being developed for a feature film. Eskens lives with his wife, Joely, in out-state Minnesota, where he has been a practicing criminal defense attorney for 25 years.

Andrew Miller

Andrew Miller's first novel, Ingenious Pain, was published by Sceptre in 1997 and greeted as the debut of an outstanding new writer. It won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the Grinzane Cavour Prize for the best foreign novel published in Italy.It has been followed by Casanova, Oxygen, which was shortlisted for the both the Booker Prize and the Whitbread Novel of the Year Award in 2001, The Optimists, One Morning Like A Bird, Pure, which won the Costa Book of the Year Award 2011, and The Crossing.Andrew Miller's novels have been published in translation in twenty countries. Born in Bristol in 1960, he has lived in Spain, Japan, France and Ireland, and currently lives in Somerset.

Andrew Taylor

Andrew Taylor is a British crime and historical novelist, winner of the Cartier Diamond Dagger (for lifelong excellence in the genre) and the triple winner of the Historical Dagger. His books include the Sunday Times bestsellers The Ashes of London and The Fire Court, the international bestseller The American Boy (a Richard and Judy selection); the Roth Trilogy (filmed for TV as Fallen Angel); the Lydmouth Series; the William Dougal Series, The Anatomy of Ghosts, shortlisted for the Theakston's Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year, and The Scent of Death. He lives on the borders of England and Wales. He reviews for the Spectator and The Times. For more information about Andrew Taylor and his books, see: www.andrew-taylor.co.uk or follow him on twitter: @andrewjrtaylor

Andy Jones

In one form or another, Andy has always been a writer. At school, he passed notes in class and scribbled rude words on lampposts. At University, he wrote a PhD in biochemistry and forged tickets to various balls. And as an advertising copywriter, has written commercials for everything from baby food to booze. But it wasn't until he was well into his thirties that Andy stared writing fiction. If he could write a letter his younger self, it would urge him to stop messing about and get on with it. FOUR is his fourth novel, but should probably be his tenth. Find Andy on Twitter and Instagram @andyjonesauthor, and Facebook /andyjonesauthor.

Anna Jacobs

Anna Jacobs grew up in Lancashire and emigrated to Australia, but still visits the UK regularly to see her family and do research, something she loves. She is addicted to writing and figures she'll have to live to be 120 at least to tell all the stories that keep popping up in her imagination and nagging her to write them down. She's also addicted to her own hero, to whom she's been happily married for many years.She is the bestselling author of over eighty novels and has been shortlisted for several awards, and Pride of Lancashire won the Australian Romantic Book of the Year Award in 2006.You can find out more on her website, www.annajacobs.com or on her Facebook page, www.facebook.com/Anna.Jacobs.Books.

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His advertising work has won him almost every award in industry including campaigns for Barclaycard, VW, PG Tips, British Gas and Budweiser. At the same time he pursued a parallel career as a DJ on radio, in clubs and has worked for LBC, GLR and Heart 106.2. He has also written for the Guardian, Tatler and The Sunday Times.

Paul Jenner

Paul Jenner is a writer and journalist specializing in lifestyle subjects. He lives with his partner, three horses, two dogs and two sheep, in the foothills of the Spanish Pyrenees, where, when he's not working, he enjoys hiking, riding, cycling, sailing, swimming, diving and snowboarding. His other books include Teach Yourself Living Longer, Living Well and Teach Yourself Happiness.

Pete Greig

Pete Greig is a writer, church-planter and bewildered founder of the 24-7 movement. He heads up Emmaus Rd in Guildford with his wife Sammy, serves as Vice-President for the NGO Tearfund and was part of the senior leadership team at HTB in London for seven years. Pete's publications include Red Moon Rising, God on Mute and The Prayer Course. He loves art galleries, live music and knocking down walls. Pete tweets regularly @petegreig

Peter Hopkirk

Peter Hopkirk travelled widely in the regions where his six books are set: Central Asia, the Caucasus, China, Russia, India and Pakistan, Iran, and Eastern Turkey. He worked as an ITN reporter, the New York correspondent of the old Daily Express, and - for twenty years - on The Times. No stranger to misadventure, he was twice held in secret police cells and has was also hijacked by Arab terrorists. His works have been translated into many languages. All six of his books are available from John Murray: THE GREAT GAME, ON SECRET SERVICE EAST OF CONSTANTINOPLE, SETTING THE EAST ABLAZE, TRESPASSERS ON THE ROOF OF THE WORLD, FOREIGN DEVILS ON THE SILK ROAD and QUEST FOR KIM.

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