I love the books of Donal Ryan. I don’t mention them much here—to my American friends—because he is an Irish writer and they are very Irish and I think sometimes they are too Irish for many American readers. (He is published on a small press here—Steerforth—and I will forthwith begin buying more of their fiction because, well, Donal Ryan.) That is, the milieu, the mind-set, the contemporary history—all are set in an Ireland I know well.
But, dagnabbit, Ryan is a brilliant writer. Everything he’s written, brilliant. None of this “well, I liked his second one best” business. ALL. BRILLIANT. So, American friends, read them.
They were published (and I read them) in this order:
The Spinning Heart (novel)
The Thing About December (novel)
A Slanting of the Sun (short stories)
All We Shall Know (novel)
I have just finished All We Shall Know. It hasn’t even been reviewed in the States. But it was special.
READ THESE BOOKS. Trust me.