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Paul Lynch's fifth novel PROPHET SONG will be published by Oneworld on 7 September 2023. The book is set in an Ireland falling under the spell of a totalitarian government and tells the tale of Eilish Stack who tries desperately to keep her family together.

“On a dark, wet evening in Dublin, scientist and mother-of-four Eilish Stack answers her front door to find the GNSB on her doorstep. Two officers from Ireland’s newly formed secret police want to speak with her husband, Larry, a trade unionist for the Teachers’ Union of Ireland. Things are falling apart. Ireland is in the grip of a government that is taking a turn towards tyranny. And as the blood-dimmed tide is loosed, Eilish finds herself caught within the nightmare logic of a collapsing society — assailed by unpredictable forces beyond her control and forced to do whatever it takes to keep her family together.

Exhilarating, terrifying, propulsive and confrontational, Prophet Song is a work of breathtaking originality, a novel that can be read as a parable of the present, the future and the past.”

Advance praise for Prophet Song:

“A monumental novel, prose so flawless and flowing that reading it is akin to being taken up in a wave. You emerge dazed. You remember why fiction matters. It's hard to recall a more powerful novel in recent years.”

— Samantha Harvey, author of The Western Wind

Beyond the Sea, published as Au Delà de la Mer by Albin Michel in France, has won the 2022 Prix Gens de Mer, a prize dedicated entirely to maritime fiction and non-fiction.

The prize, awarded as part of the Etonnant Voyager literary festival, took place on board a boat on the quays of Saint-Malo. For the first time in 17 editions of the prize, the book was chosen unanimously by the jury.

Paul Lynch said: "I am thrilled to learn that my novel BEYOND THE SEA has won France's Prix Gens de Mer, but it should be said that my translator, Marina Boraso, is the true winner of this award as these are her words on the page. Without translators, who are poorly paid, and the work of Sinéad MacAodha and Literature Ireland which provides grants, Irish writers would have no voice beyond the English language. I feel very fortunate to have Marina translate my work".

The jury was made up of personalities from the literary and maritime world in France:

  • Michèle Polak , antiquarian bookseller, president of the 2021 jury

  • Isabelle Autissier , navigator, journalist, writer, 2006 winner

  • Alain Hugues , navigator, shipyard manager, author

  • Jean-Michel Le Boulanger , teacher, writer, President of Etonnants Voyageurs;

  • Nono , alias Joël Auvin, professor, author, cartoonist;

  • Patrick Soisson , from the Académie de Marine, President of the Compagnie des Pêches

  • Benoît Heimermann , publisher, author, winner 2019

  • Philippe Joubin , author, representing Groupe Ouest-France, media partner

  • Loïc Josse , author, former bookseller, prize secretary

The Stinging Fly's Literary Lecture, commissioned as part of the Bray Literary Festival, has been given this year by Paul Lynch. The talk, "The Dream That Wakes You Up" is an examination of creativity and its many guises. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the festival took place online this year. The video can be watched below. You can also read the essay in full at The Stinging Fly here.

From the lecture: "Aristotle once said that “happiness is to live in harmony with one’s daimon”, and this idea of harmony between the self and one’s creativity, of learning to listen to the inner voice that speaks for the deepest self, is what I want to explore in this lecture. For to live in harmony with one’s daimon is no easy thing, and is perhaps the source of greatest frustration and obstacle to the writer."

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