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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.”


The New York Times Book Review has selected GRACE as an Editors’ Choice book, saying: “The Irish writer’s third novel raises timeless questions about suffering and survival through the story of two children expelled from their impoverished home in the midst of the Great Famine. When you’re starving, Lynch seems to be asking, are you truly alive?”

GRACE debuted in the US on 11 July 2017 to much praise, from reviewers in publications as wide-ranging as The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post, Esquire, The Boston Globe, Publishers Weekly and more. Grace will be published in Ireland on 7 September 2017 and in the UK on 21 September.


The novel has been selected as an Editors’ Choice pick in the New York Times Book Review: “The Irish writer’s third novel raises timeless questions about suffering and survival through the story of two children expelled from their impoverished home in the midst of the Great Famine. When you’re starving, Lynch seems to be asking, are you truly alive?”

In the Washington Post, Jon Michaud called ‘Grace’ “a moving work of lyrical and at times hallucinatory beauty…. a picaresque that reads like a hybrid of John Steinbeck’s ‘The Grapes of Wrath’ and Cormac McCarthy’s ‘The Road'”.

In The Boston Globe, Margot Livesey said that “Grace’’ belongs to several great traditions — the picaresque novel, the coming-of-age novel, and the orphan novel…. Not surprisingly “Grace’’ is a relentless novel, but Lynch allows his heroine a true complexity of feeling — about her brother, her mother, Bart, and what she sees happening around her — that allows the reader to empathize even as we wring our hands. ‘Grace’’ is not only a gripping tale about an appalling period in history — although that would be quite enough — but also, sadly, piercingly relevant; this year in East Africa 20 million people are facing starvation.”

Esquire magazine called ‘Grace’ “one of the best books of the year so far”. It was a Book of the Week in Publishers Weekly, as well as receiving a starred review in both PW and Kirkus.

In an interview, the Sunday Times said, “Grace combines the picaresque coming-of-age adventures of Voltaire’s Candide with the post-apocalyptism of Cormac McCarthy’s Road and the epic expanse of Homer’s The Odyssey.”