This week’s featured title comes to us from Liberties Press. It’s scheduled to be released in the US this summer (likely within a couple weeks), and it’s been getting some great reviews thus far! Citizens by Kevin Curran is split between 1916 and present-day Ireland. Read on to learn more about this captivating story and see what readers have been saying about it…
Book Review: Citizens – Kevin Curran
Peter Morgan | Totally Dublin
“Familiar themes are made clever and refreshing through the interspersed narrative of Neil’s great-grandfather Harry, who participated in the Easter Rising.”
“While the novel ostensibly tells two stories, it gradually builds to brilliantly portray the human interdependency that an entire nation is built upon.”
Review | Citizens by Kevin Curran
Orfhilaith Foyle | HeadStuff
“Un-likeability in a literary character is a tricky thing to respect. An unlikeable character needs something to make the reader decide to read on and Curran achieves this by writing spiky, visual dialogue for believable and flawed characters.”
“Citizens shows an Ireland in flux, bathing in self-love and self-hatred.”
“The prose propels the reader to the end. The dialogue makes the reader step in and step close.”
“Kevin Curran has written a novel that is true to what he sees in this Ireland, this legacy of 1916. It is a rough, raw account of love-misery-over-a laptop and of futures engineered by emigration. It is ambitious and visual. It does not betray itself for the sake of likeable characters.”
Book Reviews: Kevin Curran demythologises 1916 history
Tara McEvoy | The Irish News
“Book of the Week”
“Curran couples a close attention to detail with an overarching, subtle interrogation of the narratives nations are founded upon, lightened with a sharp wit.”
About the Book
Dublin 2010: Neil, twenty-six, unemployed, disaffected and disillusioned with Ireland, plans to emigrate and join his girlfriend in Canada. But having deferred his flight to attend his grandfather’s funeral, he stays behind to aid his grieving grandmother.
Dublin 1916: Harry Colley is a Pathe Newsreel cameraman, recently back from London, with a Cinemachine and four newsreels ready to capture the events of Easter Week. This is his life’s work: to chronicle the Irish struggle for independence and share it with the world. Neil accepts her grandmother’s request to read her father’s memoir. As he reads the reminiscences, he realizes that the newsreels spoken of in the text still exist. After viewing the reels, he sets off on a journey that will change his life, and the lives of all those around him, forever.
A timeless story of lost love and broken dreams that brilliantly counterpoints today’s globalized generation with Ireland’s nationalist revolutionaries of 1916, Citizens creates a conversation across a century in a unique novel that has echoes of Don DeLillo’s Libra and Transatlantic by Colum McCann.
Check Out Kevin Curran’s First Novel: Beatsploitation
One good track could change everything. Just one good track and Rob Lynch can finally quit his suburban teaching job and get his band, the Terrors, once Dublin’s next big thing, the fame and recognition they dream of. But it’s not happening – they need a new sound.
When Rob discovers the unique gifts of one of his students, John ‘Kembo’ Pereira, a troubled African teenager with a particular talent for creating beats, he sees an opportunity that might just keep his musical ambitions alive. As Rob and John’s relationship develops, however, a series of disturbing events unfold that will rock both their lives to the core. And when the Terrors start to crumble, Rob finds out just how far he is willing to go, and what he is willing to lose, in order to keep his dream alive.
Powerfully capturing the energy, wit and pathos of a changed Dublin society, Beatsploitation gives voice to a cynical, disillusioned generation, caught between the tired values of the old and the uncertainty of the new. An assured, arresting debut by a commanding new talent. It is an innovative and original work of debut fiction and deals with international themes such as racism, economic failure, love, loss, and regret, while highlighting a different side of modern Ireland.