The Temporary Gentleman

The Temporary Gentleman

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Additional Formats
  • Ebook
  • ISBN 9780698163485
  • 320 Pages
  • Penguin Books
  • Adult


A stunning new novel from the two-time Man Booker shortlisted author of The Secret Scripture
In this highly anticipated new novel, Irishman Jack McNulty is a “temporary gentleman”—an Irishman whose commission in the British army in World War II was never permanent. Sitting in his lodgings in Accra, Ghana, in 1957, he’s writing the story of his life with desperate urgency. He cannot take one step further without examining all the extraordinary events that he has seen. A lifetime of war and world travel—as a soldier in World War II, an engineer, a UN observer—has brought him to this point. But the memory that weighs heaviest on his heart is that of the beautiful Mai Kirwan, and their tempestuous, heartbreaking marriage. Mai was once the great beauty of Sligo, a magnetic yet unstable woman who, after sharing a life with Jack, gradually slipped from his grasp.
Award-winning author Sebastian Barry’s The Temporary Gentleman is the sixth book in his cycle of separate yet interconnected novels that brilliantly reimagine characters from Barry’s own family.


Praise for The Temporary Gentleman:

“One of the best writers in the English language….[Barry’s] soul-wrenching narratives and incantatory prose…are powerful canvases of the human spirit.”—Marie Arana, The Washington Post

“Barry’s prose has a dreamlike quality….The raw elegance of his storytelling has its own beauty.”—Booklist

Praise for A Long Long Way:

“A deeply moving story of courage and fidelity.”J. M. Coetzee, Nobel Prize-winning author of Disgrace
“Barry succeeds admirably in creating complex individuals who find themselves trapped in a brutal reality.”—Los Angeles Times

Praise for On Canaan’s Side:

“Sebastian Barry’s handling of voice and cadence is masterly. His fictional universe is filled with life, quiet truth and exquisite intimacy; it is also fully alert to the power and irony of history. In evoking Lilly Bere, he has created a most memorable character.”—Colm Tóibín, author of the Costa Novel Award-winning Brooklyn

“A story of love and loss, as Irish as the white heather and as big-hearted as America itself.”—Helen Simonson, New York Times bestselling author of Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand

“A marvel of empathy and tact.”—Joseph O’Neill, author of the PEN/Faulkner Award winning novel Netherland

Praise for The Secret Scripture

“Prose of often startling beauty.”—Margot Livesey, author of The Flight of Gemma Hardy

“Language of surpassing beauty….It is like a song, with all the pulse of the Irish language.”—The New York Times

“Luminous and lyrical.”—O, The Oprah Magazine

Praise for The Whereabouts of Eneas McNulty:

“A symphony of a novel, and you’ll sing along and wander…into the next century.”—Frank McCourt, author of Angela’s Ashes
“[Barry’s] words have a stony allure of the Irish poets and the lyrical pull of an epic storyteller.”—The Boston Globe