The Whereabouts of Eneas McNulty by Sebastian Barry

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Recently lionized for his play The Steward of Christendom, Sebastian Barry was hailed by The New York Times for his "rare mark of theatrical greatness." The New Yorker called the play "a majestic work." Now, with this astounding first novel, he enters the territory of Frank McCourt and James Joyce. When Barry's hero, the romantic innocent Eneas McNulty, signs up to fight with the British in World War I. An Ireland wracked by the Troubles blacklists him as a traitor--and it is his childhood friend, Jonno, who has been ordered to assassinate him. He is pursued by IRA hit men across a lifetime, to Texas, Nigeria, Omaha Beach, and the remote Isle of Man. A modern-day Aeneas, he is a classical hero disguised beneath an ordinary, tragicomic life. His wanderings embody both the strife and glory of Ireland's history, in a book that, as the Irish Times wrote of his famous play, is "wonderful...lyrical and profound, extremely funny, extraordinarily observant...hauntingly sad."

About Sebastian Barry

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Sebastian Barry was born in Dublin in 1955. His plays include Boss Grady's Boys (1988), The Steward of Christendom (1995), Our Lady of Sligo (1998), The Pride of Parnell Street (2007), and Dallas Sweetman (2008). Among his novels are The Whereabouts of Eneas McNulty (1998), Annie Dunne (2002) and A Long Long Way (2005), the latter shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. His poetry includes The Water-Colourist (1982), Fanny Hawke Goes to the Mainland Forever (1989) and The Pinkening Boy (2005). His awards include the Irish-America Fund Literary Award, The Christopher Ewart-Biggs Prize, the London Critics Circle Award, The Kerry Group Irish Fiction Prize, and Costa Awards for Best Novel and Book of the Year. He lives in Wicklow with his wife Ali, and three children, Merlin, Coral, and Tobias.
Published August 1, 1999 by Penguin Books. 336 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction, Biographies & Memoirs, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Action & Adventure. Fiction

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Aug 01 1998 | Read Full Review of The Whereabouts of Eneas McNulty

Kirkus Reviews

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But Lagos—as Eneas ruefully notes, a near anagram of “Sligo——is also haunted by “Deathly, killing, seducing politics,” though there is the lifelong friendship Eneas forms with Harcourt, an epileptic native Nigerian with whom he’ll eventually be reunited when at last, in his 70th year, he returns ...

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Known in England as a playwright (The Steward of Christendom), novelist and poet, Barry brings all the attendant skills to this stunning novel, with its evergreen theme of the parallels between a personal life and the political life of a country--in this case the fiery history of 20th century Ire...

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