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Paul Lynch (Author)

Prophet Song by Paul Lynch (WINNER OF THE BOOKER PRIZE 2023)

Prophet Song by Paul Lynch (WINNER OF THE BOOKER PRIZE 2023)

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Prophet Song - A Novel (WINNER OF THE BOOKER PRIZE 2023)

On a dark, wet evening in Dublin, scientist and mother-of-four Eilish Stack answers her front door to find two officers from Ireland’s newly formed secret police on her step. They have arrived to interrogate her husband, a trade unionist.

Ireland is falling apart, caught in the grip of a government turning towards tyranny. As the life she knows and the ones she loves disappear before her eyes, Eilish must contend with the dystopian logic of her new, unraveling country. How far will she go to save her family? And what—or who—is she willing to leave behind?

The winner of the Booker Prize 2023, Prophet Song presents a terrifying and shocking vision of a country sliding into authoritarianism and a deeply human portrait of a mother’s fight to hold her family together.

Prophet Song - A Novel (WINNER OF THE BOOKER PRIZE 2023)

Prophet Song - A Novel by Paul Lynch (WINNER OF THE BOOKER PRIZE 2023)

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Editorial Reviews


An NPR "Books We Love” 2023 Selection

An Amazon Top 10 Book of December

A Biggest Book of Fall from The Guardian

"A prophetic masterpiece." — Washington Post

“Many, many lines and passages of great beauty and power . . . Lynch is extraordinarily good at the bureaucratic intricacies of the descent into chaos . . . Prophet Song is less interested in 'Could it happen here?' than in the follow-up 'Would you know when to leave?'" — New York Times

“[A] beautifully written, ingenious, holy terror of a novel.” — Minneapolis Star Tribune

“A triumph of emotional storytelling, bracing and brave . . . Readers will find it soul-shattering and true, and will not soon forget its warnings.”— Esi Edugyan, Chair of the Booker Prize 2023 Judges

“If there was ever a crucial book for our current times, it’s Paul Lynch’s Prophet Song . . . A brilliant, haunting novel.” — Guardian (UK)

“An exceptionally gifted writer, Lynch brings a compelling lyricism to [Eilish’s] fears and despair while he marshals the details marking the collapse of democracy and the norms of daily life. His tonal control, psychological acuity, empathy, and bleakness recall Cormac McCarthy’s The Road (2006) . . . Captivating, frightening, and a singular achievement. “ — Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

“Irish writer Lynch (Beyond the Sea, 2020) conveys the creeping horror of a fascist catastrophe in a gorgeous and relentless stream of consciousness illuminating the terrible vulnerability of our loved ones, our daily lives, and social coherence. Eilish muses over the fragility of the body, its rhythms and flows, diseases and defenses. The body politic is just as assailable. A Booker Prize finalist, Lynch's hypnotic and crushing novel tracks the malignant decimation of an open society, a bleak and tragic process we enact and suffer from over and over again.” —Booklist, Starred Review

“Thunderously powerful.” —Times Literary Supplement

“As nightmarish a story as you’ll come across: powerful, claustrophobic and horribly real. From its opening pages it exerts a grim kind of grip;even when approached cautiously and read in short bursts it somehow lingers,its world leaking out from its pages like black ink into clear water.” —Guardian, Book of the Day

“A masterclass in empathy, offering a bird’s eye view of the steady crushing of one’s ability to live somewhere safely, the dismantling of ordinary life by tyranny. I hope everyone reads this.” — Suzanne Harrington, The Irish Examiner

“Utterly believable… compassionate, propulsive and timely.” — Financial Times (UK)

“Chillingly plausible.” — Irish Times

“A tremendous achievement.” — Irish Examiner

“Lynch does an excellent job of showing just how swiftly — and plausibly — a society like ours could collapse. Certain sequences read like a thriller — readers will find themselves literally holding their breath — while others are rendered in beautiful, lyrical prose…. A devastating portrait.” — Independent (IE)

“In his typically lyrical, lulling style, Lynch pulls off a masterstroke.” — Big Issue

A book of encroaching terror… Darkly lyrical, rich… affecting” — Telegraph (UK)

“Timely and unforgettable . . . It’s a remarkable accomplishment for a novelist to capture the social and political anxieties of our moment so compellingly.” — The Booker Prize 2023 judges

“A superb novel . . . one of the best I’ve read in years.” —Deadly Pleasures

“I haven't read a book that has shaken me so intensely in many years... The comparisons are inevitable - Saramago, Orwell, McCarthy - but this novel will stand entirely on its own.” — Colum McCann, author of Apeirogon

“Surely one of the most important novels of this decade.” — Ron Rash, author of Serena

“Monumental... you remember why fiction matters. It's hard to recall a more powerful novel in recent years.” — Samantha Harvey, author of The Western Wind

“The work of a master novelist, Prophet Song is a stunning, midnight vision whose themes are at once ancient and all too timely: fear, complicity, resistance, and what becomes of us when hell rises to our homeland.” — Rob Doyle, author of Threshold

“It was gripping and chilling, and terribly prescient - a novel with a darkly important message about this particular moment in time.” — Sara Baume, author of Spill Simmer Falter Wither

“Part cautionary-tale; part dystopian-nightmare; part fever dream. Whichever way you skin it, there is no denying the gathering power of Paul Lynch's writing. This is at once fearless and affecting prose with a ticking clock inevitability and a clanging bell pay-off. Both urgent jolt and slow furnace, Prophet Song takes you to the edge of the chasm and insists that you look down. A masterclass in terror and dread.” — Alan McMonagle, author of Ithaca

About the Author

Paul Lynch is the author of the novels Red Sky in Morning, The Black Snow, Grace, and Beyond the Sea. Grace won the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year 2018 and was shortlisted for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction and the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing 2018. The Black Snow won France’s Prix Libr’à Nous for Best Foreign Novel and was a finalist for the Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger (Best Foreign Book Prize). He lives in Dublin with his wife and two children. His website is

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