When a wanted war criminal, masquerading as a healer, settles in a small west coast Irish village, the community are in thrall. One woman, Fidelma McBride, falls under his spell and in this searing novel, Edna O'Brien charts the consequence of that fatal attraction. This is a story about love, the artifice of evil and the terrible necessity of accountability in our shattered, damaged world. It has been ten years since the last novel from Edna O'Brien and The Little Red Chairs reminds us why she is felt to be one of the great Irish writers, of any generation. The Little Red Chairs may be her masterpiece.
July 1960: The newly independent Congo is hit by the secession of its mineral rich-province Katanga, led by Moïse Tshombe and backed by Belgium and Britain.June 1961: Dr Conor Cruise O'Brien arrives in Katanga as Special Representative of United Nations Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld, his task (under a UN resolution) to arrest and repatriate the mercenaries and foreign interests propping up Tshombe. The consequences of this mission will prove fateful for all parties.This is the story of how a brilliant Irish diplomat found himself in Africa amid one of history's maelstroms. O'Brien reconstructs the complex, tragic, sometimes comic events of a drama in which he found himself controversially at centre stage. The result is history from the inside: a valuable study of 'the game of nations', and of the UN's unique functioning and malfunctioning.
Seventy-two-year-old August Brill is recovering from a car accident. Plagued by insomnia, he tries to push back thoughts of things he would prefer to forget - his wife's recent death and the horrific murder of his granddaughter's boyfriend, Titus - by telling himself stories. He imagines a parallel world in which America is not at war with Iraq but with itself. In this other America the twin towers did not fall, and the 2000 election results led to secession, as state after state pulled away from the union, and a bloody civil war ensued. Brill gradually opens up to his granddaughter, recounting the story of his marriage and confronting the grim reality of Titus's death. Man in the Dark is a novel of our time, a book that forces us to confront the blackness of night whilst also celebrating the existence of ordinary joys in a brutal world
Craving an adventure to wake them from their lethargic Mexican holiday before they return home, four friends set off in search of one of their own who has travelled to the interior to investigate an archaeological dig in the Mayan ruins. And at that moment their world changes for ever.
An Adam Dalgliesh MysteryVenetia Aldridge QC is a distinguished barrister. When she agrees to defend Garry Ashe, accused of the brutal murder of his aunt, it is one more opportunity to triumph in her career as a criminal lawyer. But Regina v. Ashe initiates events both frightening and unpredictable ...Just four weeks later, Miss Aldridge is found dead in her Middle Temple chambers. Commander Adam Dalgliesh, called in to investigate, finds motives for murder among the clients Venetia has defended, her professional colleagues, her family even her lover. As Dalgliesh and his team narrow the field of suspects, a second brutal murder draws them into greater complexities of intrigue and evil.'Fiendishly clever ... An accomplished performance by a leader in her field.' Sunday Times
1944. After the fall of Russia and the failed D-Day landings, half of Britain is occupied . . . Young farmer's wife Sarah Lewis wakes to find her husband has disappeared, along with all of the men from her remote Welsh village.A German patrol arrives in the valley, the purpose of their mission a mystery. Sarah begins a faltering acquaintance with the patrol's commanding officer, Albrecht, and it is to her that he reveals the purpose of his mission - to claim an extraordinary medieval art treasure that lies hidden in the valley. But as the pressure of the war beyond presses in on this isolated community, this fragile state of harmony is increasingly threatened.
The Lacuna is the heartbreaking story of a man's search for safety of a man torn beween the warm heart of Mexico and the cold embrace of 1950s McCarthyite America.Born in the U.S. and reared in Mexico, Harrison Shepherd is a liability to his social-climbing flapper mother, Salomé. Making himself useful in the household of the famed Mexican artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, and exiled Bolshevik leader Lev Trotsky, young Shepherd inadvertently casts his lot with art and revolution. A violent upheaval sends him north to a nation newly caught up in World War II. In the mountain city of Asheville, North Carolina he remakes himself in America's hopeful image. But political winds continue to throw him between north and south, in a plot that turns many times on the unspeakable breach - the lacuna - between truth and public presumption. A gripping story of identity, loyalty and the devastating power of accusations to destroy innocent people. The Lacuna is as deep and rich as the New World
Barbara Kingsolver opens her home to us, as she and her family attempt a year of eating only local food, much of it from their own garden. With characteristic warmth, Kingsolver shows us how to put food back at the centre of the political and family agenda. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is part memoir, part journalistic investigation, and is full of original recipes.
Explores the tragicomic relationship between two artists and their material. While each feeds off the other, the narratives of Mario are nourished by the life around him, those of Camacho by the fantasies engendered by his disintegrating mind. The author's other works include "The Storyteller".
Clint is one of the old reliables in Lake Wobegon - the treasurer of the Lutheran church and the auto mechanic who starts your car on below-zero mornings. For six years he has run the Fourth of July parade, turning what was once a line of pickup trucks and girls pushing baby carriages that hold their cats into a dazzling spectacle that has attracted the attention of CNN and prompted the governor to put in an appearance as well. The town is dizzy with anticipation.
Until, that is, they hear of Clint's ambition to run for Congress. They're embarrassed for him. They know him too well - his unfortunate episodes involving vodka sours, his rocky marriage. And then there is his friendship, or whatever it is, with the twenty-four-year-old girl who dresses up as the Statue of Liberty for the parade. It's rumoured that underneath those robes she is buck naked, and that her torch contains a quart of booze.
It's Lake Wobegon as it's always been - good, loving people who drive each other crazy
A revisionist analysis of the "Iliad" seeks to restore Homer's vision of war, weighing such questions as the justification for military insubordination and whether or not soldiers are compelled to forfeit their lives for causes with which they do not agree.
Garrison Keillor makes his long- awaited return to Lake Wobegon with this New York Times bestseller The first new Lake Wobegon novel in seven years is a cause for celebration. And Pontoon is nothing less than a spectacular return to form?replete with a bowling ball-urn, a hot-air balloon, giant duck decoys, a flying Elvis, and, most importantly, Wally?s pontoon boat. As the wedding of the decade approaches (accompanied by wheels of imported cheese and giant shrimp shish kebabs), the good-loving people of Lake Wobegon do what they do best: drive each other slightly crazy.
'This handsomely produced and interestingly illustrated volume is two works in one. The first part offers a survey of Jewish history and literature. The second part presents what the preface describes as 'a thematic analysis of the teachings and practices of Judaism.' Israel Finestein, Jewish Chronicle 'Fluently written, with an admirable fair-mindedness in surveying both history and belief.' A.J. Shermann, Times Literary Supplement 'The intelligent non-expert gets a clear picture of Jewish life, letters and history and it will be an endlessly useful reference book.' Julia Neuberger, Times Educational Supplement 'A wide-ranging account of things Jewish that one can truly recommend to intellectually curious Gentiles, as well as to the majority of modern secularized Jews who know relatively little about their complex tradition.' Louis Marcus, Irish Times
A rollicking and hugely enjoyable contemporary novel describing the outrageous mid-winter tour around Scotland of a group of musicians called 'The Ossians'. The band's driving force is twenty-four-year-old lead singer, Connor - intelligent but self-destructive, pretentious but charismatic, gloriously opinionated and with an extraordinary ability to get beaten up. The band is on the verge of signing a major record deal before setting off on a two-week tour of the cities and hinterland of Scotland, a tour expected to culminate triumphantly in a defining Glasgow gig. On their travels there is a seagull massacre, hapless drug deals, a mysterious stalker, a radioactive beach, a bomb-testing range, an epileptic fit, a town full of riotous Russian submariners, deadly snowstorms, epiphanies, regular beatings and random shootings. The Ossians is both hilariously readable and satirically astute, a story of rock'n'roll obsession as well as a search for identity and a sense of community, written with delicious insight, pace and brio.
Your best mate just fell off a cliff in mysterious circumstances and you were the last person to see him alive. What do you do?Well, if you're David Lindsay from Arbroath, you get the hell out of there and don't return. Not for at least fifteen years. Until Nicola Cruickshank - yes, that Nicola, the girl you always fancied but never had the guts to approach - gets in touch and asks - no, demands - that you go back for a school reunion. To the place where it happened. The place you've been running from for fifteen years. Of course you go. Not to belatedly lay your mate to rest, but because you still fancy Nicola.The thing is, if you are David Lindsay, then returning to Arbroath isn't going to lay any ghosts to rest. And when someone else takes a dive off the cliffs - an act the locals have taken to calling 'tombstoning' - while David's there, he has a choice: run away again, or finally find out why people keep dying around him . . .
The Uncommon Reader is none other than HM the Queen who drifts accidentally into reading when her corgis stray into a mobile library parked at Buckingham Palace. She reads widely ( JR Ackerley, Jean Genet, Ivy Compton Burnett and the classics) and intelligently. Her reading naturally changes her world view and her relationship with people like the oleaginous prime minister and his repellent advisers. She comes to question the prescribed order of the world and loses patience with much that she has to do. In short, her reading is subversive. The consequence is, of course, surprising, mildly shocking and very funny
The Booker Prize-winning author of Oscar and Lucinda and The Tax Inspector now gives readers a hero, the malformed but ferociously wilful Tristan Smith, who becomes the object of the world's byzantine political intrigues, even as he attains stardom in a bizarre Sirkus that is part passion play and part Mortal Kombat.
From the Hardcover edition.
Illywhacker is a dazzling comic narrative, from the lips of the 109-year-old Herbert Badgery, the 'illywhacker' or confidence trickster of the title. Overflowing with magic, jokes and inventions, peopled with aviators, car salesmen, Chinamen and impressarios, Peter Carey's novel is a contemporary classic.
In this, his first volume of original verse since the award-winning Landing Light, Don Paterson is found writing at his most memorable and direct. In an assembly of masterful lyrics and monologues, he conjures a series of fables and charms that serve both to expose us to the unsettling forces within the world and simultaneously offer some protection against them. Whether outwardly elemental in their address, or more personal in their direction, these poems - to the rain and the sea, to his young sons or beloved friends - never shy from their inquiry into truth and lie, embracing everything in scope from the rangy narrative to the tiny renku. Rain, which includes the winner of this year's Forward Prize for the Best Individual Poem and an extended elegy for the poet Michael Donaghy, is Don Paterson's most intimate and manifest collection to date.
Love in a Life, Andrew Motion's sixth volume of poetry, marks a conspicuous development in the work of the founder of the modern Narrative School. Directness and a new colloquialism are wedded to Motion's distinctive obliquities in a volume where the idea of marriage governs the architecture of each poem and the book as a whole. The stories of two marriages gradually emerge, like chapters in a narrative, and are themselves bound to more public material, so that each lends profound resonances to the other.
A collection of poems by Tom Paulin, who is also known as an essayist and from his appearances on television and radio. The title of the book is taken from a statement by the modernist painter Paul Klee.