Holy smokes, what a collection! McCann's triptych of tales about his native Ireland is as tough and soulful as the island he so precisely renders. Gorgeous, straightforward prose and characters as real as your elbows. This is the perfect introduction to a major voice. — Northshire Staff
Colum McCann's Everything in This Country Must, a writer of fierce originality and haunting lyricism, turns to the troubles in Northern Ireland and reveals the reverberations of political tragedy in the most intimate lives of men and women, parents and children.
In the title story, a teenage girl must choose between allegiance to her Catholic father and gratitude to the British soldiers who have saved the family's horse. The young hero of Hunger Strike, a novella, tries to replicate the experience of his uncle, an IRA prisoner on hunger strike. And in Wood, a small boy does his part for the Protestant marches, concealing his involvement from his blind father.
Writing in a new form, but with the skill and force and sparkling poetry that have brought him international acclaim, Colum McCann has delivered masterful, memorable short fiction.
“There is no denying the discipline that has gone into Everything in This Country Must.” —Charles Taylor, The New York Times Book Review
“Captures that peculiar nexus of hormones, deprivation and political imperative on a Northern Irish child coming of age.” —Susan Salter Reynolds, Los Angeles Times Book Review
“[A] stunning new book...Told in McCann's lush prose, these stories are both mesmerizing and painful.” —Minneapolis Star-Tribune
“McCann has the knack of capturing the intensity of these strongly held views in a low-key prose that underscores their vitriol, and in a way that disturbs the reader's sensibilities.” —Richmond Times-Dispatch
“Excellent - this is a powerful and moving collection.” —Roddy Doyle
“Masterful. These emotionally charged, beautifully controlled tales can only enhance McCann's already considerable reputation.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred)
“These are powerful stories - gritty, memorable and ambitious. The novella goes straight to the heart, both in terms of its theme and its emotional punch.” —Edna O'Brien, author of Wild Decembers
“Beautfully, poetically written...the need to read them over and over again can't be denied.” —Booklist
“Colum McCann's stories are brooding, meditative and lyrically controlled to that delicate point where the emotion within them intensifies with each succeeding reading and recognition. The political turmoil of Northern Ireland finds here an answering, subtly respondent voice wonderfully skilled and deeply felt.” —Seamus Deane, author of Reading in the Dark
“Further evidence of McCann's remarkable gifts as a prose artist as well as storyteller...In each of these pieces, the miracle is how McCann, with prose so terse and spare, is able to create worlds so emotionally complex and moving.” —Library Journal