Author(s): Niall Williams
We are our stories. We tell them to stay alive or keep alive those who only live now in the telling. In Faha, County Clare, everyone is a long story...Bedbound in her attic room beneath the falling rain, in the margin between this world and the next, Plain Ruth Swain is in search of her father. To find him, enfolded in the mystery of ancestors, Ruthie must first trace the jutting jaw lines, narrow faces and gleamy skin of the Swains from the restless Reverend Swain, her great-grandfather, to grandfather Abraham, to her father, Virgil - via pole-vaulting, leaping salmon, poetry and the three thousand, nine hundred and fifty eight books piled high beneath the two skylights in her room, beneath the rain. The stories - of her golden twin brother Aeney, their closeness even as he slips away; of their dogged pursuit of the Swains' Impossible Standard and forever falling just short; of the wild, rain-sodden history of fourteen acres of the worst farming land in Ireland - pour forth in Ruthie's still, small, strong, hopeful voice. A celebration of books, love and the healing power of the imagination, this is an exquisite, funny, moving novel in which every sentence sings.
From the acclaimed, bestselling author of Four Letters of Love, a sparkling, perfectly formed new novel. SELECTED AS A BBC RADIO 4 BOOK AT BEDTIME
Man Booker Longlist 2014
The writing is unfailingly resourceful and strong . an eloquent and moving statement of the power of love and the belief that it will triumph in the end -- Barry Unsworth, Guardian, on John Poweful and moving ... an absorbing and intelligent novel Times Literary Supplement on John Williams's prose is bathed in poetry and moonlight The Times on The Fall of Light
Niall Williams was born in Dublin in 1958. He is the author of eight novels including John and Four Letters of Love for which he has recently completed the screenplay for Element Pictures. He lives in Kiltumper in County Clare, with his wife, Christine. niallwilliams.com