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The Spinning Heart wins Guardian Award

1 of 1 The Spinning Heart - Described as
The Spinning Heart - Described as "a bravura performance"

Tipperary author Donal Ryan has won the £10,000 Guardian First Book Award 2013 for his debut novel, The Spinning Heart.

Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize this year, Ryan also won Book of the Year at the Irish Book Awards in 2012.

The Spinning Heart focuses on rural life in recession-hit Ireland, and is narrated by 21 characters.

Lisa Allardice, Editor of Guardian Review and Chair of the Guardian First Book Award judging panel, said: "Slim in size, ambitious in structure and devastating in its emotional force, The Spinning Heart is a bravura performance."

Allardice continued: "Donal Ryan gives voice to those who are more used to silence and to feelings that are often unexpressed: the 21 internal monologues come together as a great cry of pain from a community in crisis.

"It was a tough decision, as always, but here is a new novelist whom we all felt we would be hearing more from in the future."

Read our review of The Spinning Heart at: www.rte.ie/ten/reviews/books/2012/1217/445872-ryand/.

Paul Mason, novelist and member of the judging panel, said: "When someone pops up and says, 'I'm going to tell the entire story of how a country was ripped off, and its illusions shattered, in the voices of twenty-odd nobodies from a rural town, and here's the demotic language, and here's the poetry and bitterness of working class life' - and then delivers, in their first novel, you've just got to stand back and applaud.

"There were two or three strong contenders but what stood out for me was Ryan's audacity."

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