They May Face the Rising Sun by
Published by Faber
& Faber, 2002
McGahern's first novel for twelve years, takes readers through a
year in the life of a close-knit community centred around a lake
in rural Ireland. The many memorable characters include John and
Kate Ruttledge who have come to Ireland from London in search of
a different life; John Quinn, who will stop at nothing to ensure
a flow of women; Johnny, who left for England twenty years before
in pursuit of love; and Jimmy Joe McKiernan, head of the IRA , both
auctioneer and undertaker. There is gentle Jamesie and his wife
Mary who embody the spirit of the place, having never left the lake
but know everything that ever stirred or moved there. In passages
of beauty and truth, the drama of a year in the lives of these characters
unfolds through the actions, the rituals of work, religious observances
and play. By the novel's close we feel that we have been introduced
, with deceptive simplicity, to a complete representation of existence
- an enclosed world has been transformed into an Everywhere.
the first thing to say is that very little happens; and yet, everything
happens. There is little conventional plot or character development,
but stories get told, characters are delineated. The rhythm of the
prose takes its beat from the natural world, the changing seasons
around a lake in an unspecified border county, sometime in the late
eighties or early nineties
.Masterpieces do not come along
every year, or even every decade. But it is not besmirching through
exaggeration that overused and so degraded term to apply it here.
I bow, awestruck, before such an achievement' Des Traynor Books
Ireland Feb 2002
novel is his first for twelve years and is possibly the finest he
has yet published. It deserves to extend his reputation as one of
Ireland's finest writers.' The Good Book Guide'
said that there was no finer writer in English today than McGahern'
Independent on Sunday
McGahern was born in Dublin and raised in County Leitrim, where
he now lives.
the same author:
The Collected Stories
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