A stunning novel about violence, power and love from the acclaimed author of The Yellow Birds.
Following his hugely celebrated debut novel, The Yellow Birds, Kevin Powers returns to the battlefield and its aftermath, this time in his native Virginia, just before and during the Civil War and ninety years later. The novel pinpoints with unerring emotional depth the nature of random violence, the necessity of love and compassion, and the fragility and preciousness of life. It will endure as a stunning novel about what we leave behind, what a life is worth, what is said and unsaid, and the fact that ultimately what will survive of us is love.
A harrowing and lyrical epic in miniature, Powers has written a novel excavated from another time, but which speaks profoundly to this one.
one of the chief rewards of this novel is that it speaks very much to the present through the generational interplay of its characters . . . It is told subtly and with great empathy: Powers once again demonstrates the precise eye for imagery and detail that is becoming the hallmark of his work. - TLS
A masterpiece. Powers has written a novel that includes all the ferocity, complexity, and racial violence of the American South, from its fall to its eventual rebirth.
Kevin Powers has seamlessly woven nineteenth and twentieth century lives to create a novel that resonates out of the past to address the most timely issues of America in our own century. The same striking language and contemplation of war and its aftermath that made The Yellow Birds such a lauded debut is on full display in A Shout in the Ruins. What an impressive novel.
PRAISE FOR THE YELLOW BIRDS:
Extraordinary . . . beautifully accomplished. The mark of an artist of the first order . . . a must-read book. - Guardian
A masterpiece . . . a classic. - The Times Books of the Year
A stunning achievement - visceral [and] poignant. - Sunday Times
Remarkable for its intensity of both feeling and expression. In this book about death, every line is a defiant assertion of the power of beauty to revivify, whether beauty shows itself in nature or (later) in art. - Guardian Books of the Year
Kevin Powers was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia. A former soldier who served with the US army in Iraq in 2004-5, he studied English at Virginia Commonwealth University after his honorable discharge and received an MFA in Poetry from the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin. His debut novel, The Yellow Birds, won the Guardian First book Award, the Hemingway Foundation/Pen Award, and was a finalist for the National Book Award. His first collection of poetry, Letter Composed During a Lull in the Fighting, was published in 2014 and was shortlisted for both the TS Eliot Prize and the Forward Prize.