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1 Beaverton Literature- A to Z

On Canaan's Side

by

On Canaan's Side Cover

 

Staff Pick

Sebastian Barry's ability to explore the inner workings of human thought and emotion are paired with his innate ability to capture these things on paper. His novels often read like memoirs: he is somehow able to create characters that are so real, you can feel their breath, see their face, and experience their despair. On Canaan's Side gives us the story of Lily Bere, who loses her grandson, and while immersed in a grief that she knows will kill her, she begins chronicling her life. Spanning seven decades and two continents, Lily tells her story of love, marriage, fear, tragedy, and the mysteries in life that are often unanswerable. Barry is an absolute master of combining exquisite prose with an intriguing story, and his books are an enlightening experience of beauty and insight.
Recommended by Dianah, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Praised as a “master storyteller” (The Wall Street Journal) and hailed for his “flawless use of language” (Boston Herald), Irish author and playwright Sebastian Barry has created a powerful new novel about divided loyalties and the realities of war.

In 1914, Willie Dunne, barely eighteen years old, leaves behind Dublin, his family, and the girl he plans to marry in order to enlist in the Allied forces and face the Germans on the Western Front. Once there, he encounters a horror of violence and gore he could not have imagined and sustains his spirit with only the words on the pages from home and the camaraderie of the mud-covered Irish boys who fight and die by his side.  Dimly aware of the political tensions that have grown in Ireland in his absence, Willie returns on leave to find a world split and ravaged by forces closer to home. Despite the comfort he finds with his family, he knows he must rejoin his regiment and fight until the end. With grace and power, Sebastian Barry vividly renders Willie’s personal struggle as well as the overwhelming consequences of war.

Synopsis:

An epic story of family, love, and unavoidable tragedy from the two-time Man Booker Prize finalist

Sebastian Barry 's novels have been hugely admired by readers and critics, and in 2005 his novel A Long Long Way was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. In The Secret Scripture, Barry revisits County Sligo, Ireland, the setting for his previous three books, to tell the unforgettable story of Roseanne McNulty. Once one of the most beguiling women in Sligo, she is now a resident of Roscommon Regional Mental Hospital and nearing her hundredth year. Set against an Ireland besieged by conflict, The Secret Scripture is an engrossing tale of one woman's life, and a vivid reminder of the stranglehold that the Catholic church had on individuals throughout much of the twentieth century.

Synopsis:

Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, a mesmerizing new novel from the award-winning author of The Secret Scripture

A first-person narrative of Lilly Bere’s life, On Canaan’s Side opens as the eighty-five-year-old Irish émigré mourns the loss of her grandson, Bill. Lilly, the daughter of a Dublin policeman, revisits her eventful past, going back to the moment she was forced to flee Ireland at the end of the First World War. She continues her tale in America, where—far from her family—she first tastes the sweetness of love and the bitterness of betrayal.

Spanning nearly seven decades, Sebastian Barry’s extraordinary fifth novel explores memory, war, family ties, love, and loss, distilling the complexity and beauty of life into his haunting prose.

About the Author

Sebastian Barry was born in Dublin in 1955. His plays include Boss Grady's Boys (1988), The Steward of Christendom (1995), Our Lady of Sligo (1998), The Pride of Parnell Street (2007), and Dallas Sweetman (2008). Among his novels are The Whereabouts of Eneas McNulty (1998), Annie Dunne (2002) and A Long Long Way (2005), the latter shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. His poetry includes The Water-Colourist (1982), Fanny Hawke Goes to the Mainland Forever (1989) and The Pinkening Boy (2005). His awards include the Irish-America Fund Literary Award, The Christopher Ewart-Biggs Prize, the London Critics Circle Award, The Kerry Group Irish Fiction Prize, and Costa Awards for Best Novel and Book of the Year. He lives in Wicklow with his wife Ali, and three children, Merlin, Coral, and Tobias.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780143122180
Author:
Barry, Sebastian
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Subject:
Historical
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
General Fiction
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20120831
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
7.8 x 5.12 x 0.74 in 0.6 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

On Canaan's Side Used Trade Paper
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Product details 256 pages Penguin Books - English 9780143122180 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Sebastian Barry's ability to explore the inner workings of human thought and emotion are paired with his innate ability to capture these things on paper. His novels often read like memoirs: he is somehow able to create characters that are so real, you can feel their breath, see their face, and experience their despair. On Canaan's Side gives us the story of Lily Bere, who loses her grandson, and while immersed in a grief that she knows will kill her, she begins chronicling her life. Spanning seven decades and two continents, Lily tells her story of love, marriage, fear, tragedy, and the mysteries in life that are often unanswerable. Barry is an absolute master of combining exquisite prose with an intriguing story, and his books are an enlightening experience of beauty and insight.

"Synopsis" by ,
An epic story of family, love, and unavoidable tragedy from the two-time Man Booker Prize finalist

Sebastian Barry 's novels have been hugely admired by readers and critics, and in 2005 his novel A Long Long Way was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. In The Secret Scripture, Barry revisits County Sligo, Ireland, the setting for his previous three books, to tell the unforgettable story of Roseanne McNulty. Once one of the most beguiling women in Sligo, she is now a resident of Roscommon Regional Mental Hospital and nearing her hundredth year. Set against an Ireland besieged by conflict, The Secret Scripture is an engrossing tale of one woman's life, and a vivid reminder of the stranglehold that the Catholic church had on individuals throughout much of the twentieth century.

"Synopsis" by ,

Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, a mesmerizing new novel from the award-winning author of The Secret Scripture

A first-person narrative of Lilly Bere’s life, On Canaan’s Side opens as the eighty-five-year-old Irish émigré mourns the loss of her grandson, Bill. Lilly, the daughter of a Dublin policeman, revisits her eventful past, going back to the moment she was forced to flee Ireland at the end of the First World War. She continues her tale in America, where—far from her family—she first tastes the sweetness of love and the bitterness of betrayal.

Spanning nearly seven decades, Sebastian Barry’s extraordinary fifth novel explores memory, war, family ties, love, and loss, distilling the complexity and beauty of life into his haunting prose.

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