The Black Snow

A Novel
By Paul Lynch (Hardcover Book, 2015)
The startling new novel from a brilliant young Irish novelist on the rise, who "has a sensational gift for a sentence" (Colum McCann).

In Donegal in the spring of 1945, a farmhand runs into a burning barn and does not come out alive. The farm's owner, Barnabas Kane, can only look on as his friend dies and all 43 of his cattle are destroyed in the blaze.

Following the disaster, the bull-headed and proudly self-sufficient Barnabas is forced to reach out to the community for assistance. But resentment simmers over the farmhand's death, and Barnabas and his family begin to believe their efforts at recovery are being sabotaged.

Barnabas is determined to hold firm. Yet his teenage son struggles under the weight of a terrible secret, and his wife is suffocated by the uncertainty surrounding their future. As Barnabas fights ever harder for what is rightfully his, his loved ones are drawn ever closer to a fate that should never have been theirs.

In The Black Snow, Paul Lynch takes the pastoral novel and--with the calmest of hands---tears it apart. With beautiful, haunting prose, Lynch illuminates what it means to live through crisis, and puts to the test our deepest certainties about humankind.
  • Little, Brown and Company
    • Format: Hardcover Book

    • Price: $25.00 US/$28.00 CAN

    • ISBN-13: 9780316376419

    • On Sale Date: 05/12/2015

    • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

    • Imprint: Little, Brown and Company

    Formats Available: Hardcover Book, Electronic Book, Audiobook

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The startling new novel from a brilliant young Irish novelist on the rise, who "has a sensational gift for a sentence" (Colum McCann).

In Donegal in the spring of 1945, a farmhand runs into a burning barn and does not come out alive. The farm's owner, Barnabas Kane, can only look on as his friend dies and all 43 of his cattle are destroyed in the blaze.

Following the disaster, the bull-headed and proudly self-sufficient Barnabas is forced to reach out to the community for assistance. But resentment simmers over the farmhand's death, and Barnabas and his family begin to believe their efforts at recovery are being sabotaged.

Barnabas is determined to hold firm. Yet his teenage son struggles under the weight of a terrible secret, and his wife is suffocated by the uncertainty surrounding their future. As Barnabas fights ever harder for what is rightfully his, his loved ones are drawn ever closer to a fate that should never have been theirs.

In The Black Snow, Paul Lynch takes the pastoral novel and--with the calmest of hands---tears it apart. With beautiful, haunting prose, Lynch illuminates what it means to live through crisis, and puts to the test our deepest certainties about humankind.

Paul Lynch was born in 1977 and lives in Dublin. He was the chief film critic of Ireland's Sunday Tribune newspaper from 2007-2011. He has written regularly for the Sunday Times on film and has also written for the Irish Times, the Sunday Business Post, the Irish Daily Mail and Film Ireland. He is the author of Red Sky in Morning.
  • "Masterful....A considerable achievement...a story that John McGahern, say, or Frank O'Connor in one of his colder moments could have written. The triumph of this book is the uncanny uses to which Lynch puts language....In paragraphs that have the icy precision of prose poems, he opens the world out.... I read this book sentence by sentence, sounding the words to myself, savouring the pleasure of the writing." (The Sunday Times).

  • "Lynch already shows all the signs of being one of the most exciting new talents in Irish literature.... The Black Snow underlines the extent of Lynch's dazzling prose gifts [and] reinvents the pastoral novel in a daring and nuanced way. " (The Sunday Business Post).

  • "Some of the most beautiful writing I have ever read. Vivid, unsettling and intensely enjoyable." (Booker-nominated author of The Spinning Heart).

  • "Hewed from granite-like, starkly poetic prose... a tough and sinewy tragedy." (Metro).

  • PRAISE FOR RED SKY IN MORNING:

    "Paul Lynch has a sensational gift for a sentence, inherited from the likes of Cormac McCarthy, Sebastian Barry and Daniel Woodrell. He is a writer to watch out for, staking a bid for a territory all his own."

  • "Sumptuous and poetic... I am savoring the book sentence by sentence.... Lynch has taken a real and fascinating risk with the style." (The Guardian).

  • "A lapidary young master... Here, as is often the case in the work of our own Cormac McCarthy, the beauty and force of the language works congruently with the violence in the story." (NPR).

  • "Lynch's language, which is musical, close, and alive, evokes something that seems quintessentially Irish--as if you were sitting by the bard himself, in a damp, skunky pub, on a dark rainy night, as he tells you his frightening tale." (Daily Beast).

  • "It bears comparison to Colum McCann's Transatlantic.... This is strong stuff by a promising young author." (Booklist).

  • "The opening line of Lynch's debut novel [is] just another substantiation of the adage that the Irish can really, really write.... Taut, absorbing, acerbically lyrical prose." (Library Journal).

  • "Lynch's poetic prose is gorgeous. He lovingly crafts every sentence." (Kirkus Reviews).

  • "The plot line of this rewarding debut has the feel of a classic American western.... Lynch's prose is sharply observed, and his themes are elemental and powerful: the violence of existence, the illusion of choice in a fatalistic universe." (Publishers Weekly).

Formats

Product Details

The Black Snow
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Price: $25.00 US/$28.00 CAN
  • Pages: 272
  • Physical Dimensions: 5-1/2" x 8-1/4"
  • ISBN-13: 9780316376419
  • On Sale Date: 05/12/2015
The Black Snow