'The young, for all their glory, are desperate,
like the Florentines in plague-time.'
The youngvividly alive, hopeful and uninhibitedare the heroes of these boisterous novels by the renowned poet Brendan Kennelly.
The Crooked Cross tells the dramatic story of a village in the south west of Ireland as it endures a prolonged drought. As the stink rises, and the inhabitants backbite, fight, lust and tell stories, the young girls with life in their veins, and the broad-shouldered young men look at their future in Ireland with dismay.
In The Florentines we follow Gulliver Stone who has left Ireland to go to an English university. There he studies mythology, falls in love, engages in Homeric fights, takes part in Ban the Bomb demonstrations and ultimately returns home, having come of age in a strange place.
Sharply unsentimental,, with instantly recognisable characters, these novels are told in a deeply attractive, spare and supple prose.