The Myth of Exile and Return

The Myth of Exile and Return is Desmond Traynorís intriguing and provocative debut novel, which plays with language and ideas in a way that will both enthral and enlighten the reader.

Do we see the world more clearly by standing back from it and observing its workings, or by rushing into the thick of things? Does travel broaden the mind, or do people learn more about life, and themselves, by staying put in one place? This rich and fantastical tale of Edward and Edmund, a pair of identical twins separated shortly after birth and living very different lives, grapples with these and other questions, the experiences of one as he journeys through Ireland, Europe and America mediated through the perceptions of the other, who remains at home. What is truth, and what is fiction: do we really need to ask?

Desmond Traynor is one of those brave writers who not only looks at the edge, but in the end attempts to define the edge. His prose is crisp and clean and provocative. He questions the nature of stories and story-telling, while at the same time celebrating their value. In an era of so many mindless, fearful, housebroken novels, it's a breath of fresh air to have someone acknowledge the pulse of our wounds.

Colum McCann, author of This Side of Brightness and Dancer

This is an excellent novel, very well-written, clever, and highly entertaining. The writing is wonderful, the central character is interesting, and the oblique look at modern Irish society is just what everyone wants. It is also a refreshingly honest insight into the psyche of a young Irish male - apparently there are some serious men in the country, and it's nice to find out what's going on in their heads. From that point of view this is a fairly unusual novel in the Irish context. The style reminded me of nothing so much as a younger W.G. Sebald.

Eilis Ni Dhuibhne, author of The Inland Ice and The Dancer Dancing

Not just a rich and vibrant novel of our time, but a profound critical meditation on home and homeland. Desmond Traynor has read and assimilated the great Irish writings on exile, but he adds to that tradition with a book of deep feeling and lyrical, humorous insight.

Professor Declan Kiberd, author of Inventing Ireland and Irish Classics

For Orders please contact:

Silenzio Press, P.O. Box 9591, Dublin 1.

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Price: €10.00, plus postage & packaging:

Ireland: €2.90

UK: €4.00

Europe: €4.50

Rest of the World: €5.50




Critical Writings

Travel Writings