The Secret Scripture

The Secret Scripture

Paperback

By (author) Sebastian Barry

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  • Publisher: Penguin Books
  • Format: Paperback | 300 pages
  • Dimensions: 124mm x 196mm x 23mm | 91g
  • Publication date: 28 April 2009
  • Publication City/Country: New York, NY
  • ISBN 10: 0143115693
  • ISBN 13: 9780143115694
  • Sales rank: 39,179

Product description

An epic story of family, love, and unavoidable tragedy from the two-time Man Booker Prize finalist Sebastian Barry 's novels have been hugely admired by readers and critics, and in 2005 his novel "A Long Long Way" was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. In "The Secret Scripture," Barry revisits County Sligo, Ireland, the setting for his previous three books, to tell the unforgettable story of Roseanne McNulty. Once one of the most beguiling women in Sligo, she is now a resident of Roscommon Regional Mental Hospital and nearing her hundredth year. Set against an Ireland besieged by conflict, "The Secret Scripture" is an engrossing tale of one woman's life, and a vivid reminder of the stranglehold that the Catholic church had on individuals throughout much of the twentieth century. Soon to be a film starring Jessica Chastain and Vanessa Redgrave.

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Author information

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.

Review quote

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"