BiographyIrish writer Paul Lynch poses on June 29, 2015 in Paris. AFP PHOTO / JOEL SAGET

Paul Lynch is the prize-winning author of GRACE, THE BLACK SNOW and RED SKY IN MORNING. He won the French booksellers’ prize Prix Libr’à Nous for Best Foreign Novel and was a finalist for the Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger (Best Foreign Book Prize). He won the Prix des Lecteurs Privat, and was nominated for France’s Prix Femina, the Prix du Premier Roman (First Novel Prize) and the Prix du Roman Fnac (Fnac Novel Prize), as well as being shortlisted at Ireland’s Bord Gais Irish Books of the Year. In the US, both his novels were Amazon.com books of the month and he was selected by Barnes and Noble for the Discover Great New Writers series.

After a six-publisher auction, his debut novel RED SKY IN MORNING was published to critical acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic in 2013. It was a finalist for France’s Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger (Best Foreign Book Prize) and was nominated for the Prix du Premier Roman (First Novel Prize). In the US, it was an Amazon.com Book of the Month and was featured on NPR’s All Things Considered, where Lynch was hailed as “a lapidary young master”. It was a book of the year in The Irish Times, The Toronto Star, the Irish Independent and the Sunday Business Post.

His second novel THE BLACK SNOW was published in 2014 in the UK and Ireland and 2015 in the US where it was an Amazon.com Book of the Month. In France it won the French booksellers’ prize Prix Libr’à Nous for Best Foreign Novel and the inaugural Prix des Lecteurs Privat. It was nominated for the Prix Femina and the Prix du Roman Fnac (Fnac Novel Prize). It was hailed as “masterful” by The Sunday Times, “fierce and stunning” by The Toronto Star and featured on NPR’s All Things Considered where Alan Cheuse said that Lynch’s writing was found “somewhere between that of Nobel poet Seamus Heaney and Cormac McCarthy”. The American writer Ron Rash has called Lynch “one of his generation’s very finest novelists”.

In France, RED SKY IN MORNING (Un ciel rouge, le matin) and THE BLACK SNOW (La neige noire) have been published to massive critical acclaim.

Paul was born in Limerick in 1977, grew up in Co Donegal, and lives in Dublin with his wife and daughter. He was the chief film critic of Ireland’s Sunday Tribune newspaper from 2007 to 2011, when the newspaper folded. He has written for many Irish newspapers and has written regularly for The Sunday Times on film.

Novels

RED SKY IN MORNING (2013) 

» Quercus (UK, Ireland, Commonwealth) 2013
» Little, Brown — (North America) 2014
» Albin Michel (France) 2014
» 66th&2nd (Italy) 2017
 
 

Coll Coyle wakes to a blood dawn and a day he does not want to face. The young father stands to lose everything on account of the cruel intentions of his landowner’s heedless son.

Although reluctant, Coll sets out to confront his trouble. And so begins his fall from the rain-soaked, cloud-swirling Eden, and a pursuit across the wild bog lands of Donegal.

Behind him is John Faller – a man who has vowed to hunt Coll to the ends of the earth – in a pursuit that will stretch to an epic voyage across the Atlantic, and to greater tragedy in the new American frontier.

Red Sky in Morning is a dark tale of oppression bathed in sparkling, unconstrained imagery. A compassionate and sensitive exploration of the merciless side of man and the indifference of nature, it is both a mesmerizing feat of imagination and a landmark piece of fiction.

THE BLACK SNOW (2014)

» Quercus (UK, Ireland, Commonwealth) 2014
» Little, Brown (North America) 2015
» Albin Michel (France) 2015
» 66th&2nd (Italy) 2018

 

In the spring of 1945, farm-worker Matthew Peoples runs into a burning byre and does not come out alive. The farm’s owner, Barnabas Kane, can only look on as his friend dies and all 43 of his cattle are destroyed in the blaze.

Following the disaster, the bull-headed and proudly self-sufficient Barnabas is forced to reach out to the farming community for assistance. But resentment simmers over Matthew Peoples’ death, and Barnabas and his family begin to believe their efforts at recovery are being sabotaged.

Barnabas is determined to hold firm. Yet his son Billy struggles under the weight of a terrible secret, and his wife Eskra is suffocated by the uncertainty surrounding their future. And as Barnabas fights ever harder for what is rightfully his, his loved ones are drawn ever closer to a fate that should never have been theirs.

In The Black Snow, Paul Lynch takes the pastoral novel and – with the calmest of hands – tears it apart. With beautiful, haunting prose, Lynch illuminates what it means to be alive during crisis, and puts to the test our deepest certainties about humankind.

GRACE (2017)

» Oneworld (UK, Ireland, Commonwealth) 2017
» Little, Brown (North America) 2017
» Albin Michel (France) 2018
» 66th&2nd (Italy) 2019

 

Early one October morning, Grace’s mother snatches her from sleep and brutally cuts off her hair, declaring, ‘You are the strong one now.’ With winter close at hand and Ireland already suffering, Grace is no longer safe at home. And so her mother outfits her in men’s clothing and casts her out. When her younger brother Colly follows after her, the two set off on a remarkable journey in the looming shadow of their country’s darkest hour.

The broken land they pass through reveals untold suffering as well as unexpected beauty. To survive, Grace must become a boy, a bandit, a penitent and, finally, a woman – all the while afflicted by inner voices that arise out of what she has seen and what she has lost.

Told in bold and lyrical language by an author who has been called ‘one of his generation’s very finest novelists’ (Ron Rash), Grace is an epic coming-of-age novel and a poetic evocation of the Irish famine as it has never been written.