The Heart in Winter

THE IRISH TIMES BESTSELLER

Kevin Barry

The Heart in Winter by Kevin Barry (Hardback ISBN 9781805302117) book cover

Available as Hardback, eBook, Downloadable audio

A savagely funny, achingly beautiful tale set in the Wild West, from the Booker-longlisted author of Night Boat to Tangier

THE INSTANT IRISH TIMES BESTSELLER

A GUARDIAN BOOK TO LOOK OUT FOR IN 2024
A NEW STATESMAN FICTION HIGLIGHT OF 2024
AN OBSERVER FICTION TO LOOK OUT FOR IN 2024
AN IRISH TIMES FICTION TO LOOK OUT FOR IN 2024

What if we ride out tonight?
What if we ride out and never once look back?

October, 1891. Butte, Montana. A hard winter approaches across the Rocky Mountains. The city is rich on copper mines and rampant with vice and debauchery among a hard-living crowd of immigrant Irish workers.

Here we find Tom Rourke, a young poet and balladmaker, but also a doper, a drinker and a fearsome degenerate. Just as he feels his life is heading nowhere fast, Polly Gillespie arrives in town as the new bride of the devout mine captain Long Anthony Harrington.

A thunderbolt love affair takes spark between Tom and Polly and they strike out west on a stolen horse, moving through the badlands of Montana and Idaho. Briefly an idyll of wild romance perfects itself. But a posse of deranged Cornish gunsmen are soon in hot pursuit of the lovers, and closing in fast …


“An absolute belter of a book”
Anne Enright

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“A dazzling tale of lovers on the run in Montana … Barry has written us a love story that never seems false or cheap, and an adventure where the violence is never gloating or desensitised. It’s a wedding of Cormac McCarthy with Flann O’Brien; a western but also the most Irish of novels; a tragedy written as farce … inspiring joy with every incident, every concept, every sentence”
guardian

“Kevin Barry lights out for the territory and once again comes back with a shining nugget of gold. The Heart in Winter is a glorious and haunted yarn, with all the elements – the doomed lovers, the bounty hunters, the knife-fights and whisky-soaked songs – brought to mysterious life by the heft and polish of the Barry sentence. Marvellous”
Jon Mcgregor

“A violent, extravagant adventure set in 1890s Montana … [Barry’s] thrilling best”
the Times

“A great big rollicking ballad of a novel. A love story, and a slice of history, in a language as close to song as literature will ever get”
Colum Mccann


Kevin Barry

Kevin Barry is the author of four novels and three story collections. His awards include the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the Goldsmiths Prize, the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award and the Lannan Foundation Literary Award. His stories and essays have appeared in the New Yorker, Granta and elsewhere. His novel, Night Boat to Tangier, was an Irish number one bestseller, was longlisted for the Booker Prize and named one of the Top Ten Books of the Year by the New York Times. He also works as a playwright and screenwriter, and he lives in County Sligo, Ireland.