I am shamelessly beating the drum on this. Louise Dean’s superb book This Human Season, which should have won the 2006 Man Booker – nothing could have been better – is at last out in the U.S. from Harcourt. You should buy it. Immediately. Take it out from the library if you have to (the more sales, the more Harcourt will pay attention to her), but read it.
I guess you should not read it if you cannot bear to read books in which people smoke – it’s Belfast in the 70’s for crying out loud – or if you don’t really want to know about Long Kesh. But if your delicate sensibilities keep you away, you’ll be missing not just brilliant writing (brilliant writing is available all over the place) but wise writing. Funny writing. A fantastic story. And if you do not weep at the end, if you are not left largely worthless for the rest of the day, you’re just wrong.