Remarkable … Mr. Farrell deserves high praise for this novel. It is subtly modulated, richly textured, sad, funny, and altogether memorable.
— Times Literary Supplement
A tour de force … sad, tragic, also very funny.
— The Guardian
Farrell wrote superbly; all his books had a quality that hallmarks great literary talent—he could “do” texture. This album—which is what Troubles
feels like—records the same Anglo-Irish as Elizabeth Bowen knew and belonged to. As with Bowen, this feels like the real thing (which is all a novel has to do). Always judge a writer by his grasp of what he doesn’t know: Farrell died young yet his old people are almost his best creations.
— Frank Delaney, The Guardian
About the Author
J.G.Farrell (1935–1979) was born with a caul, long considered a sign of good fortune. Academically and athletically gifted, Farrell grew up in England and Ireland. In 1956, during his first term at Oxford, he suffered what seemed a minor injury on the rugby pitch. Within days, however, he was diagnosed with polio, which nearly killed him and left him permanently weakened. Farrell’s early novels, which include The Lung
and A Girl in the Head,
have been overshadowed by his Empire Trilogy—Troubles
, the Booker Prize–winning Siege of Krishnapur,
and The Singapore Grip
(all three are published by NYRB Classics). In early 1979, Farrell bought a farmhouse in Bantry Bay on the Irish coast. “I’ve been trying to write,” he admitted, “but there are so many competing interests–?the prime one at the moment is fishing off the rocks… . Then a colony of bees has come to live above my back door and I’m thinking of turning them into my feudal retainers.” On August 11, Farrell was hit by a wave while fishing and was washed out to sea. His body was found a month later. A biography of J.G. Farrell, J.G. Farrell: The Making of a Writer
by Lavinia Greacen, was published by Bloomsbury in 1999.
John Banville was born in Wexford, Ireland, in 1945. He is the author of many novels, including The Book of Evidence
, The Untouchable
, and Eclipse
. Banville’s novel The Sea
was awarded the 2005 Man Booker Prize. On occasion he writes under the pen name Benjamin Black.