Long Long Way by Sebastian Barry
Published by Faber and Faber in 2005
eighteen years old, Willie Dunne, brother of Annie from Barry's
previous novel Annie Dunne, leaves Dublin in 1914 to fight for the
allied cause, largely unaware of the growing political and religious
tensions festering back home.
Long Long Way evokes the camaraderie and humour of Willie and his
regiment, the Royal Dublin Fusiliers, but also the cruelty and sadness
of war, and the divided loyalties that many Irish soldiers felt.
Tracing their experiences through the course of the war, the narrative
explores and dramatises the events of the Easter Rising within Ireland,
and how such a seminal political moment came to affect those boys
off fighting for the King of England on foreign fields - the paralysing
doubts and divisions it caused them.
also charts Willie’s coming of age, his leaving behind of
his sweetheart Gretta, and the effect the war has on his relationship
with his father, a member of the Dublin Metropolitan Police and
a fervent loyalist. Running throughout is the question of how such
young men came to be fighting in a war, and how they struggled with
the events that raged around them.
Barry was born in Dublin in 1955 and currently lives in County Wicklow.
A Long Long Way has been nominated for the 2007 International Impac
Dublin Literary Award. Barry is also an award winning playwright.
in First World War fiction, A Long Long Way is a small masterpiece
with an exhilarating resoluteness and authority.' Independent
beautifully written book with human value.' Sunday Times
'The story grips,
shocks and saddens; but most importantly refuses to be forgotten.'
the same author
Time Out of Mind
The Whereabouts of Eneas McNulty
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