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The Secret Scripture

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About the Author

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.


As her 100th birthday nears, Roseanne McMulty documents the story of her difficult life in a manuscript she hides from the staff of the Roscommon Regional Mental Hospital. Author Barry (A Long Long Way) describes 1930s-40s Ireland in bold, vibrant language, while Wanda McCaddon (What Was She Thinking?) does a spectacular job voicing the characters, playing at turns an aging, haunted woman and a mourning male doctor. Among the year's best audio adaptations; highly recommended for all collections. [Audio clip available through; the Viking hc was longlisted for the 2008 Booker Prize.-Ed.]-Stephen L. Hupp, West Virginia Univ. Lib., Parkersburg Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

Playwright Barry's touching novel turned plenty of heads upon its release, as an elderly mental patient documents her life and times in County Sligo, Ireland, while her doctor uncovers a remarkably different story of her existence. Wanda McCaddon's British dialect is no hindrance to her remarkable portrayal of protagonist Roseanne McNulty, as she leaps into character with a stunning, perfect Irish accent that captures every nuance of the West Coast dialect. McCaddon's performance is among the best of the year. Her believable portrayal is perfectly modulated and nuance-filled, creating a stunning listening experience. A Viking hardcover (Reviews, Mar. 31). (Oct.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

?These lives are reimagined in language of surpassing beauty. Above all it is the surpassing quality of Mr. Barry's language that gives it its power . . . Mr. Barry has said that his novels and plays often begin as poems (he is a published poet), but his language never clots the flow of his story; it never gives a whiff of labor and strain. It is like a song, with all the pulse of the Irish language, a song sung liltingly and plaintively from the top of Ben Bulben into the airy night.? ?Dinitia Smith, "NY Times Daily Book Review" ?Just as he (Barry) describes people stopping in the street to look at Roseanne, so I often found myself stopping to look at the sentences he gave her, wanting to pause and copy them down . . . When I reached the last page, I did feel that I had shared a profound experience . . .? ?Margot Livesey, "The Boston Globe" ?Luminous and lyrical.? ?Pam Houston, "O Magazine" ?I?d nominate Sebastian Barry, the most exhilarating prosex

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