A Swift Pure Cry
By Siobhan Dowd
(David Fickling Books, Hardcover, 9780385751087, 320pp.)
Publication Date: April 10, 2007
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After Shell's mother dies, her obsessively religious father descends into alcoholic mourning and Shell is left to care for her younger brother and sister. Her only release from the harshness of everyday life comes from her budding spiritual friendship with a naive young priest, and most importantly, her developing relationship with childhood friend, Declan, who is charming, eloquent, and persuasive. But when Declan suddenly leaves Ireland to seek his fortune in America, Shell finds herself pregnant and the center of a scandal that rocks the small community in which she lives, with repercussions across the whole country. The lives of those immediately around her will never be the same again.
This is a story of love and loss, religious belief and spirituality—it will move the hearts of any who read it.
Siobhan Dowd was named one of the top 100 Irish Americans by Irish-America Magazine and AerLingus for her global anti-censorship work with the writers' organization PEN. A Swift Pure Cry is her first novel. She lives in Oxford, England.
“IT IS NO small feat to write a story so heavy with foreboding and both deliver on the palpable sense of dread and concoct a hopeful yet realistic ending. Dowd achieves this in her beautifully realized account of one girl’s
loss of innocence, and her resilient recovery.”—Publishers Weekly, Starred
“Dowd’s elegant, unsentimental prose and her instinctive grasp of the struggles of the human heart [lead] toward a hopeful ending. Don’t let your kids keep this book to themselves.”—People Magazine
“Told through flowing eloquent prose, with strong Joycean influences, this engrossing and haunting tale will not let the reader go.”—Kirkus Reviews
More than 150 writers from 40 events will gather in New York City for PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature, April 28 – May 4, 2014.
For its 10th anniversary, the festival celebrates those who have dared to stand ‘on the edge,’ risking their careers, and sometimes their lives, to speak out for their art and beliefs. Join us for a wide range of events, including debates, one-on-one conversations, participatory workshops and performances in venues throughout the city. Use the code PEN14 (use PEN2014 for events at The Public Theater) and receive a 20 percent discount on most events. www.worldvoicesfestival.org