“Dramatic, adventurous, heroic, romantic. . . these historical chronicles, legends, myths, tall tales and fables, featuring warriors, kings, monks, explorers and clever common folk, imaginatively tell the history of Ireland.” — Philadelphia Inquirer
This New York Times bestselling epic is an unforgettable tour de force that marries the intimate, passionate texture of the Irish spirit with a historical scope that is sweeping and resplendent. Storyteller extraordinaire Frank Delaney takes his readers on a journey through the history of Ireland, stopping along the way to evoke the dramatic events and personalities so critical to shaping the Irish experience.
In the winter of 1951, a storyteller, the last practitioner of an honored, centuries-old tradition, arrives at the home of nine-year-old Ronan O'Mara in the Irish countryside. For three wonderful evenings, the old gentleman enthralls his assembled local audience with narratives of foolish kings, fabled saints, and Ireland's enduring accomplishments before moving on. But these nights change young Ronan forever, setting him on a years-long pursuit of the elusive, itinerant storyteller and the glorious tales that are no less than the saga of his tenacious and extraordinary isle.
Praise For Ireland: A Novel…
“History, legend, memory and myth come seamlessly together in Frank Delaney’s wonderfully engaging new novel, IRELAND, an intimate epic that is at once a sprawling account of 2,000 years of tumultuous Irish history and a meditation on the enduring importance of stories.” — Washington Post
“An epic novel of history and storytelling.” — U.S. News & World Report
“Delaney gracefully collects essential myths—and invents a few, too—in his heartfelt ode to the oral tradition.” — Entertainment Weekly
“Dramatic, adventurous, heroic, romantic, slyly comic, these historical chronicles, legends, myths, tall tales and fables, featuring warriors, kings, monks, explorers and clever common folk, imaginatively tell the history of Ireland.” — Philadelphia Inquirer
“Epic. . . . Combines Irish history with the fictional tale of a Senchai, a wandering storyteller who enchants a family with stories of Ireland and its people.” — USA Today
“In the end, IRELAND is, as the Irish themselves are fond of saying about everything from cabbage to castles, brilliant.” — San Antonio Express-News
“IRELAND touches the heart and moves the soul.” — Richmond Times-Dispatch
“A sweeping saga of Ireland.” — Los Angeles Times
“Extraordinary … mixes history and fiction in an epic narrative that traces the entire history of [the] country. Delaney is such a fabulous storyteller.” — Connecticut Post
“Warm, intelligent, and unapologetically nostalgic ... Delaney is as much in love with the art of storytelling as he is the story’s subject.” — Christian Science Monitor
“IRELAND both reinforces and rethinks what it means to be Irish … celebrates the island nation’s history through the words of a storyteller.” — Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
“A wonderfully engaging novel, an intimate epic that is at once a sprawling account of 2,000 years of Irish history and a meditation on the enduring importance of stories.” — San Jose Mercury News
“[A] grand sweep of a novel.” — Lisa Ko, author of The Leavers
“It succeeds both as folk history and as a novel...and in exalting the art of storytelling as well as demonstrating the author’s love of all things Irish -- people, place and language.” — Baton Rouge Advocate
“A sprawling, riveting read. . . the stories utterly captivate. . . in this rich and satisfying book.” — Publishers Weekly
“A vivid rendering of Irish history, imagined and real... reminiscent of the best of James Michener in scope and sheer crowd-pleasing potential.” — Kirkus Reviews
“Highly recommended … both touching and real. An accomplished historian and novelist, Delaney deftly weaves the story of a people and a country with a poignant coming-of-age tale …. fans of Edward Rutherford’s historical sagas will love it.” — Library Journal (Starred Review)
“An absolute masterpiece. With this extraordinary novel Frank Delaney joins the ranks of the greatest of Irish writers. James Joyce would have been proud of him.” — Jack Higgins, New York Times bestselling author of Edge of Danger
Harper Perennial, 9780061244438, 576pp.
Publication Date: February 5, 2008
About the Author
Frank Delaney was born in Tipperary, Ireland. A career in broadcasting earned him fame across the United Kingdom. A judge for the Booker Prize, several of his nonfiction books were bestsellers in the UK, and he writes frequently for American and British publications. He now lives with his wife, Diane Meier, in New York and Connecticut. Ireland is his first novel to be published in the United States.