You are here

On Canaan’s Side

On Canaan’s Side

Bill is gone. What is the sound of an eighty-nine-year-old heart breaking? It might not be much more than silence, and certainly a small slight sound. Narrated by Lilly Bere, On Canaan’s Side opens as she mourns the loss of her grandson, Bill.

The story then goes back to the moment she was forced to flee Dublin, at the end of the First World War, and follows her life through into the new world of America, a world filled with both hope and danger. At once epic and intimate, Lilly’s narrative unfurls as she tries to make sense of the sorrows and troubles of her life and of the people whose lives she has touched. Spanning nearly seven decades, it is a novel of memory, war, family-ties and love, which once again displays Sebastian Barry’s exquisite prose and gift for storytelling.

‘A marvel of empathy and tact.’ Joseph O’Neill

About the Author

Sebastian Barry

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) and The Pride of Parnell Street (2007).

His novels include The Whereabouts of Eneas McNulty (1998) and Annie Dunne (2002).

A Long Long Way was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2005 and the Dublin International Impac Prize, and was the Dublin: One City One Book choice for 2007. He has won, among other prizes, the Irish-America Fund Literary Award, the Christopher Ewart-Biggs Prize, the London Critics Circle Award and the Kerry Group Irish Fiction Prize. Recently, The Secret Scripture was longlisted for the 2008 Man Booker Prize, and On Canaan’s Side was longlisted for the 2011 Man Booker Prize.

He lives in Wicklow.