Donal Ryan is an award-winning author from Nenagh, County Tipperary, whose work has been published in over twenty languages to major critical acclaim. The Spinning Heart won the Guardian First Book Award, the EU Prize for Literature (Ireland), and Book of the Year at the Irish Book Awards; it was shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Desmond Elliott Prize, and was voted 'Irish Book of the Decade'. His fourth novel, From a Low and Quiet Sea, was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award 2018, and won the Jean Monnet Prize for European Literature. His novel, Strange Flowers, was voted Novel of the Year at the Irish Book Awards, and was a number one bestseller, as was his most recent novel The Queen of Dirt Island, which was also shortlisted for Book of the Year at the Irish Book Awards. Donal lectures in Creative Writing at the University of Limerick. He lives with his wife Anne Marie and their two children just outside Limerick City.
This is a generous mosaic of a novel about the staying power of
love and pride and history and family. While Donal Ryan is never
afraid of "all the meanness and sorrow of the world," he also
manages to excavate the thrilling beauties that hold us together.
He manages, with wit and grace, to illuminate the anonymous corners
of human experience and get at the underworld of our souls.
Donal Ryan is one of the finest novelists writing today and this is a gem of a novel. Full of humanity, humility, humour, drama and mystery, his characters are so vivid you feel they are sitting outside, waiting for him to conjure them to life. He writes with grace and precision, with love indeed, about who we are and why, about family history and the ghosts we carry. A haunting, exquisite masterpiece.
From its opening pages, this book exerts a quiet, propulsive hold over its reader. The three generations of Aylward women will break your heart and then put it back together again. It's a beautiful, compassionate novel - Donal Ryan at his inimitable best.
Beautifully poised, sad, poetic and human....I loved every single line.
I truly enjoyed The Queen Of Dirt Island from its jolting first chapter to its calm, graceful conclusion. Now I'm on to Strange Flowers.