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New Island publishes some of the best fiction written in Ireland. From literary fiction and short stories, to chilling crime, you’ll always find a book to transport you.

Once We Sang Like Other Men

Once We Sang Like Other Men

11.95

by John MacKenna

Once We Sang Like Other Men is a surprising, mysterious, lyrical and affecting collection with a stunning range of voice from a recognised master of the form.

C-Format Paperback | 240pp | ISBN: 9781848405813 | Release Date: Febuary 2017

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‘I’m not an impulsive person. Twice in my life I’ve done impulsive things. The first time was when I packed a bag, walked out on my wife and kids, left my job and hit the road to follow the Captain. Goodbye was all she wrote.’

These wide-ranging stories follow the disparate disciples of the Captain – a mysterious, powerful and magnetic figure whose violent and chaotic death at the hands of the army radically alters their lives in myriad ways. From rural North American farms and dive bars to the suburbs of Ireland and the sands of Palestine, we witness their struggles to find a place, a peace, in a world that is fractured and incomplete. Once We Sang Like Other Men is a surprising, mysterious, lyrical and affecting collection with a stunning range of voice from a recognised master of the form.

Reviews

The poet in McKenna shines through in some beautiful lyrical writing......the stories draw you on in the skilled hands of the narrator...a book which, with its disparate parts, must be swallowed whole to be fully enjoyed.
— Sunday Independent
There is the keening desperation of the devout in many of these finely crafted and disparate voices, while in others an emptiness within is forced to continue unsated or with fingers crossed that another answer awaits them out there on the road...Words are enough to bring rapture or sanctity or stimulation, if they are assembled in the right way.
— Irish Independent

Praise for John MacKenna

John MacKenna’s short stories are a wonder.
— The Irish Times
A consummately skilled author.
— The Guardian
MacKenna is McGahern’s inheritor; he harvests and hoards his words, knowing their nuance, their gram-weight worth.
— Scotland on Sunday