Paul Lynch's books of the year

Author of Red Sky in the Morning

 

George Saunders’s Tenth of December (Bloomsbury) is almost matchless in contemporary short fiction: these are stories with heft and heart told in a style that is genuinely daring. Try reading Sticks, a one-page story that packs the punch of a novel. Saunders rewrites smallness into greatness.

Daniel Woodrell’s The Maid’s Version (Sceptre) is full of the kind of sentences and social detail that make lesser writers chew their fists. What great characters – the size of their beating hearts; the depth of their suffering. This is a book woven of the threads of hurt and loss that bind over time. It is a masterly, dazzling weave.

I’ll be reading the translation of Zibaldone, the notebooks of the Italian Romantic poet Giacomo Leopardi, into old age. My US edition (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) is some 2,000 pages and seems limitless. It is packed with compressed philosophical wisdom that roams the full range of life and consciousness. An inexhuastable and wise book.

Next: Kate Atkinson's books of the year
Previous: Mary O'Donoghue

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.