A Selection of the Best in Contemporary Irish Fiction
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John Deane - Undertow
The Blackstaff Press

This is a stylish and beautifully written novel, a poet’s novel. Apart altogether from its substance, events and characters, the history of people in a particular place, it is the response of people to the sea that is most arresting.
The novel switches back and forth between Achill in 1951-1952 and Achill in 1996-1997, but chronology and plot are less important than psychological analysis, the quiet, detailed portrayal of individual feelings. Pursuing individual lives in parallel stories, the novel gradually brings them together.

Undertow by John Deane

This writing is magical. The novel returns again and again to the sea as though the poet’s imagination is deeply moved by its compelling currents. It is moving also by the evidence of the poet/novelist’s understanding, compassion and love for a place and a people he knows well.
Review by Maurice Harmon, Books Ireland.

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