After the Lockout
by Darran McCann
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An ambitious and compelling first novel about a key moment in Irish history.
November 1917. With tensions in Ireland, war in Europe and revolution in Russia, Victor Lennon returns to his home village after a long exile. Radicalised by his experiences in the Dublin Lockout and Easter Rising, Victor is a hero to many but a danger to some.
Those closest to Victor know his true nature: his father, Pius, now drinking himself to death; his oldest friend, Charlie, wounded in the trenches; and the love of his life, Maggie, who he left behind years before. But soon Victor and the fearsome parish priest, Stanislaus Benedict, are on a collision course, with the very souls of the people caught between religion and socialism.
Told from the perspectives of these two equally strong-willed characters, After the Lockout is a first novel of tremendous ambition and achievement. At its heart is a conflict emblematic of a recurring faultline in Irish history, and of one more eternal and universal: between hope and experience; between ideals and human weakness.
‘With this one novel Darran McCann succeeds where many writers over an entire career fail, laying claim to a terrain entirely his own. Spread the word, Darran McCann has arrived.’ Glenn Patterson
‘Darran McCann drags Irish history out of the door by the hair. For the first time we see the Catholic church being taken on, not with a rear-view smugness but where it matters in an Ireland where power is changing hands. This is a compelling story of a people attempting to liberate themselves from authority.’ Hugo Hamilton
‘”After The Lockout” is a wholly original, vigorous and insightful piece of writing. It recreates an era and its exigencies with robustness and aplomb’ Patricia Craig, TLS
‘[”After the Lockout”] has an enemy in its sights and it goes for that enemy, though without becoming shrill or impugning the humanity of the clerical characters. Not enough first books have attitude, but this one definitely does, and that’s rather wonderful.’ Irish Times