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Spies in Canaan
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A bold and unsettling parable about guilt, atonement and redemption from the winner of the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Award

About the Author

David Park has written nine novels and two collections of short stories. His novel Travelling in a Strange Land won the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year. His other books include The Light of Amsterdam, which was shortlisted for the 2014 International IMPAC Prize and The Poets' Wives, which was selected as Belfast's Choice for One City One Book 2014. He has won the Authors' Club First Novel Award, the Bass Ireland Arts Award for Literature, the Ewart-Biggs Memorial Prize and the American Ireland Fund Literary Award. He has received a Major Individual Artist Award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and been shortlisted for the Irish Novel of the Year Award four times. In 2014 he was longlisted for the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award. He lives in County Down, Northern Ireland.

Reviews

A layered tale told in masterful style. A writer's writer, a purveyor of thoughtful, atmospheric fiction that is mature in observation, structure, pace, character- all the good things that bring a book to life * IRISH TIMES *
Immerses the reader ... a poignant retrospective narrative full of loss and insight * IRISH TIMES, Best summer reading *
One of the most powerful and probing novels so far this year * FINANCIAL TIMES, Best summer reads of 2022 *
A short, sharp novel about memory, longing, regret and atonement * SUNDAY TIMES IRELAND *
David Park's novels are always elegantly written and I liked Spies in Canaan, a story about the redemption of a retired man whose past in Vietnam catches up with him * INDEPENDENT *
Spies in Canaan is a masterful exploration of how guilt, memory, love and loss can resurface in old age. In just 200 pages, Park manages to conjure with a deft, economical precision all the complexity of human experience * FINANCIAL TIMES *
Park has written a remarkable novel ... A wise reader will take it once straight through, gripped by the narrative, then read it a second time slowly, savouring the art and intelligence with which it has been made -- ALLAN MASSIE
Virtuosic ... A gripping, poignant story of loss and betrayal, of youthful ignorance and a lifetime's worth of regret, of the unreliability of memory when recounting the violence of war, set against the vital importance of having such testimony recorded for the ages * IRISH TIMES *
Set in the last months of the Vietnam War and in contemporary America, David Park's wonderfully complex novel is the work of a master craftsman. A wise reader will take it once straight through, gripped by the narrative, then read it a second time slowly, savouring its complexity, savouring the art and intelligence with which it has been made * SCOTSMAN *
With its superbly rich and descriptive language- a tornado, the desert and the teeming-with-life streets of Saigon all come alive under his pen and razor sharp dialogue. Near perfect * HOT PRESS *
David Park transplants his great imagination from the fight at home to the shifting, scarifying battlegrounds of Asia in his new novel. How well he can create these landscapes and these people battling on both sides, fraught with suspicion, committing acts of treachery and redemption, ending as all wars must end with no peace, no peace at all. Unflinching, courageous, wise, alert to the thrill and sorrow of violence, Spies In Canaan adds to David Park's status as a superb novelist -- FRANK MCGUINNESS
Another compact marvel ... electrifying ... This is a meditative novel that, while investing heavily in a patient build-up of atmosphere, never forgets the need to put a foot on the gas * DAILY MAIL *
The Belfast author has steadily built a reputation as one of the finest writers on this island. In his tenth novel, he explores themes of guilt, atonement and redemption through the story of Michael, a Vietnam vet who faces his past on a journey into the desert * IRISH EXAMINER *
Spies in Canaan by David Park ... Is an unsettling parable about guilt, atonement and redemption set in the US * IRISH TIMES, BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2022 *
The tenth novel from the Co Down author follows retiree Michael on one last journey into a distant desert, and his inner journey into long-suppressed memories of the Vietnam War * IRISH INDEPENDENT *
Praise for David Park: Delicate, beautifully written -- DAVID NICHOLLS
Breathtaking, brave, exhilarating ... Every sentence in Parks's book is felt. The author has weighed up each word and considered every image, electing only those that carry sufficient freight to bear the reader to his intended destination -- CLAIRE KILROY * GUARDIAN *
Wrings the heart -- BERNARD MACLAVERTY
The tenth novel from the Co Down author follows retiree Michael on one last journey into a distant desert, and his inner journey into long-suppressed memories of the Vietnam War * IRISH INDEPENDENT, BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2022 *
A mighty book ... An eruption of love and sorrow, overwhelmingly compassionate and wise, hearing the heart break and maybe even heal, bearing the deepest testimony to the love, unending love -- FRANK MCGUINESS
Extraordinary, raw and moving a chronicle of pain and powerlessness as could be written -- LISA MCINERNEY
Beautiful, intensely human * IRISH TIMES, BOOKS OF THE YEAR *
Tense, thrilling, strange and profoundly moving ... There isn't a wasted syllable in this short, beautiful book -- DONAL RYAN * IRISH TIMES *
Park appears to write effortlessly, with one foot planted firmly in the canon of traditional Irish lyricism and another flirting with modern parlance ... His emotional intelligence is remarkable * DAILY MAIL *
The Belfast Turgenev ... One of the truest observers of life * Big Issue *

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