GRACE has been nominated for the £25,000 Walter Scott Prize, “the world’s foremost literary prize for historical fiction”.  The shortlist will be announced in April, with the overall winner being unveiled at the Borders Book Festival in Melrose on 15 June.

The recent publication of GRACE in Australia has been met with acclaim in its national press. In a review in The Sydney Morning Herald, Frank O’Shea wrote, “When you finish, you feel like saying “wow”. Under your breath perhaps, but do not be hard on yourself if you shout it out, because this is a work of staggering beauty and deep insight.”

The Daily Telegraph wrote: “Lynch’s poetic, effortless and inventive way with language makes this a majestic book.” The Weekly Review included the book in “The Best Books You’ll Read This Summer”, and called GRACE, “a powerful, epic tale of an extraordinary girl overcoming the bleakest of times”. 

The Sun-Herald’s included GRACE in its list of ‘Hot Holiday Reads This Summer’ and called the book “enthralling and at times confronting”. Meanwhile, The Saturday Paper meanwhile, wrote, “Fiction often asks the question: what makes us human? Lynch’s answer is simplistic but elemental: a bowl of soup and a heel of bread.” 

Paul Lynch recently discussed GRACE with Kate Evans of ABC Australia’s Books and Arts show, in which he discussed taking on the famine as a subject for his novel. You can listen to the full interview here:

GRACE has been chosen as a book of the year in a number of international publications at the close of 2017, as well as being an Editors’ Choice book at the New York Times Book Review and a Staff Pick at the Paris Review.

In The Guardian, Sebastian Barry, author of the Costa prize-winning novel, Days Without End, chose GRACE as one of his novels of the year. In the Irish Independent, Peter Cunningham, author of The Trout, chose the novel as one of his favourites of 2017. “GRACE by Paul Lynch is a hugely brave and accomplished feat of imagination in which a year of the Great Famine is brought to life in all its chilling darkness through the eyes of an adolescent girl as she criss-crosses Ireland in search of salvation. Lynch uses his considerable literary gifts to realise the near pagan Irish landscape of the time in all its rampant pishoguery. Superb, unflinching literary fiction,” said Cunningham. In the US, both Esquire magazine and book review magazine Kirkus selected the novel as one of their books of the year. According to the Kirkus review, “this is a writer who wrenches beauty even from the horror that makes a starving girl think her ‘blood is trickling over the rocks of my bones’.” Esquire said, “This sweeping story casts us back to 19th-century Ireland. The Great Famine — that would go on to wipe out a million people — is imminent. A widow, with four children and another on the way, casts her eldest daughter Grace out of the house to find work — but not before she’s cut off Grace’s hair and dressed her up in men’s clothing for her own protection. Grace’s is accompanied by her rambunctious younger brother Colly, who’s snuck away to be with her — but not for long. What follows is an epic tale of endurance, which in Lynch’s deft hands is harrowing and simultaneously starkly beautiful.”