The Cruelty Men

The Cruelty Men

by Emer Martin

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The Cruelty Men is a tidal wave that drags you like a piece of debris through Irish history from the ice age to gangland Dublin. A bible of fucked up Irishness.’ –Irvine Welsh

This novel is a new work from the prize-winning author Emer Martin. Her first novel, Breakfast in Babylon, won Book of the Year 1996 at the prestigious Listowel Writers’ Week.

Mary O Conaill, abandoned by her Kerry parents, is resettled in County Meath. This accidental matriarch, ‘a great one for the stories’, faces the task of raising her younger siblings alone. The feral Padraig is disappeared, immured in ‘the big house in Mullingar’. Sean joins the Christian Brothers, Bridget escapes and her brother Seamus inherits the farm. Maeve is sent to serve a family of shopkeepers in the local town; pregnant and unwed, she is placed in a Magdalene Laundry, her twins then forcibly removed and sold on.

This sweeping multi-generational saga from the 1930s to the 1970s follows the psychic and physical displacement of a society in freefall after independence. In an Ireland transiting from folklore to literature, voices of the dispossessed contend with Church and State, its vulnerable citizens struggling with the real-politik of land-hunger and Irish marriage customs, as Ferrante’s Naples meets Solzhenitsyn’s gulags.

The Cruelty Men tells an unsentimental tale of survival with wit, poetic nuance, vitality and authenticity. Its inviting tapestry of first-person narratives preserves through its golden threads a place where race memory encounters the modern world.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781843517627
Publisher: Lilliput Press, Limited, The
Publication date: 06/14/2018
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 448
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Emer Martin is a Dubliner now living in California. Her first novel, Breakfast in Bablyon, won Listowel Book of the Year 1996; her second, More Bread or I’ll Appear, was published in 1999. Baby Zero, her third novel, appeared in 2007. She works in theatre and founded the publishing cooperative Rawmeash in 2014.

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