ON CANAAN’S SIDE

Sebastian Barry

From the two-time Man Booker shortlisted author of “The Secret Scripture” comes a magnificent new novel that is the story of the twentieth century in America.

Told in the first person, as a narrative of Lilly Bere’s life over seventeen days, “On Canaan’s Side” opens as she mourns the loss of her grandson, Bill. Lilly revisits her past, going back to the moment she was forced to flee Ireland, at the end of the First World War, and continues her tale in America, a world filled with both hope and danger. At once epic and intimate, Lilly’s story unfolds as she tries to make sense of the sorrows and troubles of her life and of the people whose lives she has touched.

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From the two-time Man Booker shortlisted author of “The Secret Scripture” comes a magnificent new novel that is the story of the twentieth century in America.

Told in the first person, as a narrative of Lilly Bere’s life over seventeen days, “On Canaan’s Side” opens as she mourns the loss of her grandson, Bill. Lilly revisits her past, going back to the moment she was forced to flee Ireland, at the end of the First World War, and continues her tale in America, a world filled with both hope and danger. At once epic and intimate, Lilly’s story unfolds as she tries to make sense of the sorrows and troubles of her life and of the people whose lives she has touched.

Spanning nearly seven decades, from the Great Depression to World War II and the Vietnam War, it is the heartbreaking story of a woman whose capability to love is enormous, and whose compassion, even for those who have wronged her, is astonishing.

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  • Viking Adult
  • Hardcover
  • September 2011
  • 272 Pages
  • 9780670022922

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$25.95

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About Sebastian Barry

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.

Praise

“Sebastian Barry’s fifth novel is a lyrical evocation of trauma and exile, bearing a seemingly endless series of potent images.”Alex Clark, Guardian

“Stunningly poetic … On Canaan’s Side can be celebrated for the beauty, wisdom and pleasure it provides.”Adam O’Riordan, Sunday Telegraph

“Imbued with sorrow, joy, tenderness and also moments of great humour, On Canaan’s Side is a luminously beautiful story that well deserves its place on the Booker longlist, and beyond.”Leyla Sanai, Independent on Sunday

“[A] deep, affecting novel … A story that stays with you well after the final page. We Love This Book.”—The Bookseller