aThese lives are reimagined in language of surpassing beauty. Above all it is the surpassing quality of Mr. Barryas language that gives it its power . . . Mr. Barry has said that his novels and plays often begin as poems (he is a published poet), but his language never clots the flow of his story; it never gives a whiff of labor and strain. It is like a song, with all the pulse of the Irish language, a song sung liltingly and plaintively from the top of Ben Bulben into the airy night.a
aDinitia Smith, "NY Times Daily Book Review"
aJust as he (Barry) describes people stopping in the street to look at Roseanne, so I often found myself stopping to look at the sentences he gave her, wanting to pause and copy them down . . . When I reached the last page, I did feel that I had shared a profound experience . . .a
aMargot Livesey, "The Boston Globe"
aLuminous and lyrical.a
aPam Houston, "O Magazine"
aIad nominate Sebastian Barry, the most exhilarating prose stylist in Irish fictionawhich just about makes him, by definition, the best prose writer in the English language . . . Barry has shown a dazzling facility with poetry, drama and fictionahis works form a mosaic-like whole, though each stands on its own. He never uses a fancy word when a simple one will do; his characters speak a plain vocabulary, but in cadences tempered and honed into poetry . . . Sebastian Barryas achievement is unlike that of any other modern Western writer, a tapestry of interrelated works in different mediums woven from strands of his past and that of his country. "The Secret Scripture" fits seamlessly into a vision that seeks to restore with language that which has been taken away byhistory.a
aAllen Barra, "Salon.com"show more