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History of the Rain


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About the Author

Niall Williams was born in Dublin. His work includes stage plays, screenplays, nonfiction (co-written with this wife, Christine Breen), and, to date, seven novels. His first, Four Letters of Love, was an international bestseller and a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Williams has twice been longlisted for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and, with this book, has been longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. He lives in the west of Ireland.


"A delicate and graceful love story that is also an exaltation of love itself . . . A luminously written, magical work of fiction . . . Four Letters of Love is formed with an unusual authority and grace, and it is filled with marvelous characters, large and small, all depicted with an understated veracity." --Katharine Weber, The New York Times Book Review "A two-time nominee for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, Niall Williams (Four Letters of Love) has written an incandescent novel about family, Ireland, and the magical power of stories." --Shelf Talker, Shelf Awareness "You can smell the peat burning and feel the ever-present mist in [this] luscious paean to all who lose themselves in books. Williams captures the awe and all of Ireland--its myths and mysteries, miseries and magic--through the pitch-perfect voice of a saucily defiant young woman who has witnessed too much tragedy but who clings devotedly to those she's lost." --starred review, Booklist "A rambling, soft-hearted Irish family saga stuffed with eccentricity, literature, anecdotes, mythology, humor, and heartbreak." --Kirkus "Destined to be a classic, Williams's seventh novel (after Boy and Man) isn't just the elegy Ruthie offers to the departed but also the love letter to reading and its life-giving powers. The author's voice and narrative remain utterly unique even as she invites comparisons to Jim Hawkins, Ishmael, and hosts of legendary literary narrators." --starred review, Library Journal "History of the Rain is charming, wise and beautiful. It is a love letter to Ireland in all its contradictions, to literature and poetry and family. It acknowledges that faith itself is a paradox, both possible and necessary. And faith carries this novel--faith that stories can save us, that love endures, that acceptance is within reach, and finally, that it is possible to get to the other side of grief." --Shelf Awareness "While a wealth of impressions linger from this debut, two words come most often to mind in describing it: Spellbinding. Brilliant." --starred review, Kirkus Reviews on FOUR LETTERS OF LOVE "A compelling meditation on love, art and the vicissitudes of fate." --San Francisco Chronicle on FOUR LETTERS OF LOVE "Heart-rending and unforgettable." --The Economist on ONLY SAY THE WORD "God and Love and death can take care of themselves. A far greater mystery is the marvellous existence of a writer like Niall Williams . . . [He] really does write like an angel." --The Guardian on AS IT IS IN HEAVEN

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