Grove Press
Atlantic Monthly Press
Atlantic Monthly Press

Prophet Song

by Paul Lynch


A terrifying, suspenseful vision of an Ireland careening towards authoritarianism

  • Imprint Atlantic Monthly Press
  • Page Count 320
  • Publication Date December 05, 2023
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-6301-1
  • Dimensions 5.5" x 8.25"
  • US List Price $26.00
  • Imprint Grove Paperback
  • Publication Date November 24, 2024
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-6352-3
  • US List Price $0.00
  • Imprint Atlantic Monthly Press
  • Publication Date December 05, 2023
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-6302-8
  • US List Price $26.00

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.

Tags Literary

Praise for Prophet Song:

An NPR Best Book of the Year
A Biggest Book of Fall from The Guardian

“A prophetic masterpiece.”—Washington Post

“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)

“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