Last Voyage & Other Stories

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
An Irish immigrant with no formal education who drew his characters from the working class, Hanley, though largely shunned in British literary circles, was admired by such influential writers as Faulkner and E.M. Forster. In a London Times obituary at the time of his death in 1985, he was dubbed "The Neglected Genius of the Novel." In his 48 books (including Boy, 1931, and The Furys cycle, 1935, etc.), Hanley specialized in tales of sailors, prisoners, soldiers, working men and their families, all told in a stark social-realist prose at once minimalist, instinctive and passionate. In the title story of this collection of five short narratives, an old ship's fireman faces his last voyage, and with it the shame of seeing his family fall into poverty. The story's dire conclusion is characteristic: Hanley never let his readers off easy. With its graphic details of an atrocity committed by two soldiers in a fog-bound trench, "The German Prisoner" shocked readers upon publication. "A Passion Before Death," in which a delirious condemned man desires only his wife but receives the caresses of a warder instead, was immediately seized and burned by the authorities, while the beautifully paced novella "Narrative" starts with a labor riot and ends with the dreadful deaths of a torpedoed ship's crew. If Hanley's work is grimly devoid of romance, his particular brand of fury is nevertheless deeply compassionate, the work of a seafaring O'Casey or Liverpool-Irish Genet. Originally published in England in 1997, this resurrected collection of stories reaffirms his position as one of the great Irish Modernists. (Mar)
Erik Burns
"The Last Voyage: And Other Stories," a collection of work from the early 1930's by the prolific Irish-born writer James Hanley, serves as a gripping introduction to both his dark vision of humanity and his unusual, stripped-down prose. -- Erik Burns, New York Times Book Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781860463167
  • Publisher: Random House Adult Trade Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 1/28/1997
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.26 (w) x 8.44 (h) x 0.89 (d)

Table of Contents

The Last Voyage 1
The German Prisoner 45
Greaser Anderson 81
A Passion before Death 109
Narrative 145
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