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book cover of That They May Face the Rising Sun

That They May Face the Rising Sun

(2001)
(By the Lake)
A novel by

 
 
Awards
International IMPAC Dublin Literary Awards Best Novel (nominee)
Irish writer John McGahern's first new novel in 12 years, That They May Face the Rising Sun, is a work of delicately forged beauty, the nearest he has yet come to writing of happiness. The plot remains defiantly not the thing for McGahern, with little of consequence happening beyond life's natural syncopations, yet the nuances of language and relationship soar as gracefully as the abundant wildfowl that crowd the book's pages. News is the old currency, carried in the dialogue which remains McGahern's most discernible talent. Set in rural County Leitrim, the inhabitants of the houses around the lake and the local town, heady on the whiskey elixir that loosens tongues or seals deals, watch as their insular community is gently pummelled by the creeping advance of modern life. While they share the year's natural cycle, the unfolding months reveal their personal differences: Joe and Kate Ruttledge, returned after a long spell in London; Mary and Jamesie, their whole life lived there; John Quinn, the charming, brutal womaniser, who marries and loses as quickly the bride he finds at the Knock Marriage Bureau; The Shah, Kate's uncle, who wordlessly sells his business to his cripplingly honest assistant, Frank; and Jimmy Joe Kiernan, auctioneer and undertaker, a veteran IRA man still on the lookout for stray souls. And then there is Jamesie's brother Joseph, the best shot in the district, who went to England after a woman, and stayed there, his soul sold for the "alphabetical" order of English life.

There is little alphabetical to McGahern's view of life, though there is consummate poetry. His narrative quietly rumbles out its melody through gentle variance, undulating conversations over the restless scars of violent pasts and fractured presents, the Troubles only ever across the nearby border. Stories are for the re-telling, yet the intrusion of telephone wires and Blind Date merely formalises the inevitable, the secularisation of ritual, and the dying of belief, if not yet habit. Already acclaimed as one of Ireland's leading writers for works such as High Ground and Amongst Women, to read this offering is to appreciate the unique beauty of the novel form, and the rare, bewitching talent of John McGahern. --David Vincent

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Used availability for John McGahern's That They May Face the Rising Sun

Hardback Editions

2005 : Hardback
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Title: That They May Face the Rising Sun
Author(s): John McGahern
ISBN: 2874271802 / 978-2874271809
Publisher: Paperview
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


December 2001 : UK Hardback
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Title: That They May Face the Rising Sun
Author(s): John McGahern
ISBN: 0-571-21216-6 / 978-0-571-21216-3 (UK edition)
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


March 2002 : USA Hardback
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Title: By the Lake
Author(s): John McGahern
ISBN: 0-679-41914-4 / 978-0-679-41914-3 (USA edition)
Publisher: Knopf
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Paperback Editions

December 2006 : UK Paperback
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Title: That They May Face the Rising Sun
Author(s): John McGahern
ISBN: 0-571-22572-1 / 978-0-571-22572-9 (UK edition)
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


April 2003 : USA Paperback
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Title: By the Lake
Author(s): John McGahern
ISBN: 0-679-74402-9 / 978-0-679-74402-3 (USA edition)
Publisher: Vintage
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


October 2002 : UK Paperback
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Title: That They May Face the Rising Sun
Author(s): John McGahern
ISBN: 0-571-21221-2 / 978-0-571-21221-7 (UK edition)
Publisher: Faber and Faber
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Kindle Editions

February 2015 : USA Kindle edition
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Title: By the Lake (Vintage International)
Author(s): John McGahern
Publisher: Vintage
Availability: Amazon   


October 2009 : UK Kindle edition
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Title: That They May Face the Rising Sun
Author(s): John McGahern
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Availability: Amazon UK