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This Human Season

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This Human Season Cover

 

Review-A-Day

"This Human Season is about dispassionately dissecting both sides of the divide, and doesn't extend forward in time to the days when that chasm will finally be bridged. It's a rare case where a reader can look to the real world for an ending that is happier than the fictional version." Yvonne Zipp, The Christian Science Monitor (read the entire CSM review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

November 1979, the height of Northern Ireland's Troubles. Kathleen Moran's son Sean has just been transferred to the hypersecure H-block in Belfast's notorious Maze prison, where he soon emerges as a young but impor­tant force in the extreme protest, known as the Blanket, that political prisoners are staging there. John Dunn is also newly arrived at the prison, having taken on the job of guard — a brutal but effective way to support a house and a girlfriend, the domestic dream.

In the weeks leading up to Christmas, no one's dreams go untroubled. As rumors of a hunger strike begin to circulate, Louise Dean's pitch-perfect novel places two parents, two sons, and two enemies on a collision course that ends in a surprising and deeply resonant climax.

Review:

"Set in Belfast during the Troubles, Dean's accomplished second novel (after Becoming Strangers) is an affecting and well-researched depiction of the political and social strife of Northern Ireland in the winter of 1979. John Dunne, a 20-year veteran of the British army, takes a job as a prison guard at Belfast's Maze prison and is assigned to work in the squalid high-security block where the most hardened IRA inmates are engaged in a protest they call the Blanket (the inmates refuse to wear clothes and smear their feces on the cell walls — one enterprising pair 'paints' a fireplace). A newly arrived inmate, Sean Moran, imprisoned for his part in the bombing death of a policeman, becomes pivotal in the plan to take the protest to the next level. On the outside, Sean's mother, Kathleen, struggles to raise her remaining children while British soldiers routinely search her house for weapons, and John grows close with his adult illegitimate son. The possibility of violence is ever-present, especially for John, whose job makes him a target on and off the clock. Dean writes strong characters and provides a sympathetic rendering of both sides of the conflict, making for a powerful and memorable novel." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"This grim story is told with sharp wit and sharper love. Readers who manage to leave Dean's worlds of East and West Belfast without a bitter sympathy for both sides of the grinding Ulster conflict are in dire need of heart transplants. Not a wasted moment in this terrifying and terribly funny book." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"[Dean] captures the sounds and textures of the time and place with compelling power as she precisely limns two young men and their families striving for freedom." Booklist

Review:

"Dean dexterously highlights the telling advantage that fiction has over journalism and history, portraying the inner realm of thoughts and feelings. With remarkable even-handedness, she evokes the day-to-day struggles of English and Irish, Protestant and Roman Catholic..." Paul Gray, The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"Drawing on actual events, Dean uses crystalline prose to paint both sides of the conflict with an equally tender and sympathetic brush. Not for the squeamish but highly recommended." Library Journal

Review:

"[R]evisits Belfast to stunning effect, with an impartiality at once clear-eyed and deeply sensitive....Done poorly, it can be tedious, or worse; done this well, it is memorable, luminous and life-giving in the way only the best realistic fiction can be." San Diego Union-Tribune

Review:

"Dean...does a fine job of making several nearly unbearable scenes bearable through humor and frankness." San Francisco Chronicle

Synopsis:

Praise for THIS HUMAN SEASON

 

"With clear-eyed compassion, and with all the resources of the novelist's art, Louise Dean leads us through those terrible days when for a while Belfast was the vortex for the worst of the world's cruelty and pain."--J M Coetzee

 

"Breathtaking . . . [This Human Season] is a novel that confirms the arrival of a significant voice in British fiction."--The Observer

 
 
Praise for BECOMING STRANGERS
 
"Its hard to believe that this poignant examination of long marriage is Deans first novel, so subtly does she develop the relationships among her characters and so skillfully does she balance delight and despair . . . Dean has produced an ideal novel, right out of the box."—Atlantic Monthly
 
"Dean crafts a gut-wrenching tale of marital recklessness and guilt that is reminiscent of John Updike at his most masterful . . . Her sheer talent takes one's breath away in its rigorous complexity and lyrical dazzle . . . Becoming Strangers is poignant, authentic, funny and extraordinary." --San Francisco Chronicle

About the Author

Louise Dean is the author of Becoming Strangers, which won the Betty Trask Award and was long-listed for the 2004 Man Booker Prize, as well as the Guardian First Novel Award. She lives in France.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780151012534
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Subject:
General
Author:
Dean, Louise
Subject:
Politics and government
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
Northern Ireland
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Psychological fiction
Subject:
Northern Ireland Politics and government.
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20070205
Binding:
Hardback
Language:
English
Pages:
384
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 1.39 lb

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

This Human Season
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 384 pages Harcourt - English 9780151012534 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Set in Belfast during the Troubles, Dean's accomplished second novel (after Becoming Strangers) is an affecting and well-researched depiction of the political and social strife of Northern Ireland in the winter of 1979. John Dunne, a 20-year veteran of the British army, takes a job as a prison guard at Belfast's Maze prison and is assigned to work in the squalid high-security block where the most hardened IRA inmates are engaged in a protest they call the Blanket (the inmates refuse to wear clothes and smear their feces on the cell walls — one enterprising pair 'paints' a fireplace). A newly arrived inmate, Sean Moran, imprisoned for his part in the bombing death of a policeman, becomes pivotal in the plan to take the protest to the next level. On the outside, Sean's mother, Kathleen, struggles to raise her remaining children while British soldiers routinely search her house for weapons, and John grows close with his adult illegitimate son. The possibility of violence is ever-present, especially for John, whose job makes him a target on and off the clock. Dean writes strong characters and provides a sympathetic rendering of both sides of the conflict, making for a powerful and memorable novel." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day" by , "This Human Season is about dispassionately dissecting both sides of the divide, and doesn't extend forward in time to the days when that chasm will finally be bridged. It's a rare case where a reader can look to the real world for an ending that is happier than the fictional version." (read the entire CSM review)
"Review" by , "This grim story is told with sharp wit and sharper love. Readers who manage to leave Dean's worlds of East and West Belfast without a bitter sympathy for both sides of the grinding Ulster conflict are in dire need of heart transplants. Not a wasted moment in this terrifying and terribly funny book."
"Review" by , "[Dean] captures the sounds and textures of the time and place with compelling power as she precisely limns two young men and their families striving for freedom."
"Review" by , "Dean dexterously highlights the telling advantage that fiction has over journalism and history, portraying the inner realm of thoughts and feelings. With remarkable even-handedness, she evokes the day-to-day struggles of English and Irish, Protestant and Roman Catholic..."
"Review" by , "Drawing on actual events, Dean uses crystalline prose to paint both sides of the conflict with an equally tender and sympathetic brush. Not for the squeamish but highly recommended."
"Review" by , "[R]evisits Belfast to stunning effect, with an impartiality at once clear-eyed and deeply sensitive....Done poorly, it can be tedious, or worse; done this well, it is memorable, luminous and life-giving in the way only the best realistic fiction can be."
"Review" by , "Dean...does a fine job of making several nearly unbearable scenes bearable through humor and frankness."
"Synopsis" by ,
Praise for THIS HUMAN SEASON

 

"With clear-eyed compassion, and with all the resources of the novelist's art, Louise Dean leads us through those terrible days when for a while Belfast was the vortex for the worst of the world's cruelty and pain."--J M Coetzee

 

"Breathtaking . . . [This Human Season] is a novel that confirms the arrival of a significant voice in British fiction."--The Observer

 
 
Praise for BECOMING STRANGERS
 
"Its hard to believe that this poignant examination of long marriage is Deans first novel, so subtly does she develop the relationships among her characters and so skillfully does she balance delight and despair . . . Dean has produced an ideal novel, right out of the box."—Atlantic Monthly
 
"Dean crafts a gut-wrenching tale of marital recklessness and guilt that is reminiscent of John Updike at his most masterful . . . Her sheer talent takes one's breath away in its rigorous complexity and lyrical dazzle . . . Becoming Strangers is poignant, authentic, funny and extraordinary." --San Francisco Chronicle

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