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Donal Ryan

The novelist Donal Ryan joins Dorothy Allen to discuss his latest novel, All We Shall Know.

The novelist Donal Ryan joins Dorothy Allen to discuss his latest novel, All We Shall Know. Ryan’s award-winning debut, The Spinning Heart, was published to great acclaim in 2012: It won the Guardian First Book Award, the European Union Prize for Literature, and Book of the Year at the Irish Book Awards. The Thing About December and his short story collection A Slanting of the Sun followed soon after. All We Shall Know is a tragic and vivid tale which confirms Ryan as an acute chronicler of the disaffection at the heart of present-day Ireland.

All We Shall Know tells the story of Melody Shee. At 33 years-old, she finds herself pregnant with the child of a 17 year-old Traveller boy, Martin Toppy, and not by her husband Pat. Melody was teaching Martin to read, but now he’s gone, and Pat leaves too, full of rage. She’s trying to stay in the moment, but the future is looming, while the past won’t let her go. It’s a good thing that she meets Mary Crothery when she does. Mary is a bold young Traveller woman, and she knows more about Melody than she lets on. She might just save Melody’s life.


Donal Ryan | talks


Date and Time:

22 May 2017 at 7:30 pm


1 hour



Irish Literary Society
Bloomsbury Hotel
16-22 Great Russell Street

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