A Slanting of the Sun: Stories (Paperback)

Stories

By Donal Ryan

Steerforth Press, 9781586422356, 208pp.

Publication Date: September 29, 2015

October 2015 Indie Next List

“Exquisite and elegant, Ryan's collection of short stories highlights his talents as a writer of note. Each piece evokes the Irish people -- the spirit, the voice, the culture -- as the characters confront the pain of life. The beauty of the stories comes from the almost musical quality of Ryan's writing. His sentences flow with an ebullient tone that appreciates the good and bad in equal measure, and readers are caught by the lyrical rhythms and inner harmonies, which bring them to a deeper understanding of other people. These stories will make you cry, shake your head in shock, and ponder the great gulfs between men, which are rooted in our own humanity in all its beauty and roughness.”
— Raul Chapa (E), Book People, Austin, TX
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Description

Donal Ryan's short stories pick up where his acclaimed novels The Spinning Heart and The Thing About December left off, dealing with dramas set in motion by loneliness and displacement and revealing stories of passion and desire where less astute observers might fail to detect the humanity that roils beneath the surface. Sometimes these dramas are found in ordinary, mundane situations; sometimes they are triggered by a fateful encounter or a tragic decision. At the heart of these stories, crucially, is how people are drawn to each other and cling to love when and where it can be found.
In a number of the these stories, emotional bonds are forged by traumatic events caused by one of the characters - between an old man and the frightened young burglar left to guard him while his brother is beaten; between another young man and the mother of a girl whose death he caused when he crashed his car; between a lonely middle-aged shopkeeper and her assistant. Disconnection and new discoveries pervade stories involving emigration (an Irish priest in war-torn Syria) or immigration (an African refugee in Ireland). Some of the stories are set in the same small town in rural Ireland as the novels, with names that will be familiar to Ryan's readers.
In haunting prose, Donal Ryan has captured the brutal beauty of the human heart in all its failings, hopes and quiet triumphs.


About the Author

Donal Ryan, from Nenagh in County Tipperary, is a recipient of the 2015 European Union Prize for Literature. His first novel, The Spinning Heart, was published to major acclaim. It won the Guardian First Book Award and the Book of the Year at the Irish Book Awards; it was shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award; and longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Desmond Elliott Prize. His second novel, The Thing About December, was a finalist for the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year and Novel of the Year at the Irish Book Awards. Donal lives with his wife Anne Marie and their two children just outside Limerick City.
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