The Temporary Gentleman

Sebastian Barry

A stunning return from the prize-winning and best-selling author of The Secret Scripture

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From the bestselling author of The Secret Scripture, a heartbreaking story of lost love.

Jack McNulty, a former UN observer, has worked around the world and seen extraordinary things but, as he contemplates his return to Ireland after many years, his memories are dominated by his tumultuous marriage to Mai Kirwan. A great beauty with a vivid mind, Mai was also an elusive and troubled soul, stuck in a marriage that couldn’t last.

The Temporary Gentleman
is a powerful account of one man’s attempt to come to terms with the savage realities of the past.

Critic Reviews

'One's heart leaps into one's mouth and stays there . . . Exhilarating.'

Charlotte Moore, Spectator
Critic Reviews

Barry is an artist of the highest order.

Claire Kilroy, Guardian, Book of the Week
Critic Reviews

'Both fascinating and moving, The Temporary Gentleman shows Sebastian Barry to be one of our finest novelists - daring, accommodating and humane.'

John Banville
Critic Reviews

'I loved Jack and Mai's story, which oozes panache . . . Barry is brilliant on the ways of marriage.'

Ann Treneman, The Times
Critic Reviews

'This novel is an elegy - not for a temporary gentleman but for his wife . . . Almost as if good writing might have the power to save a marriage or contain the secret of happiness . . . Rare and heart-breaking.'

Kate Kellaway, Observer
Critic Reviews

Told in Barry's flawless prose, it's a book that leaves the reader bruised long after the final page has been, regretfully, turned.

John Harding, Daily Mail

Sebastian Barry was born in Dublin in 1955. The 2018-21 Laureate for Irish Fiction, his novels have twice won the Costa Book of the Year award, the Independent Booksellers Award and the Walter Scott Prize. He had two consecutive novels shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, A Long Long Way (2005) and the top ten bestseller The Secret Scripture (2008),…

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Barry, Sebastian 2016_The Irish Times (1)
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