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Winner of the 2016 Costa Book of the Year and longlisted for the 2017 Man Booker Prize: Sebastian Barry's sensational new novel set in mid-19th Century America.
After signing up for the US army in the 1850s, aged barely seventeen, Thomas McNulty and his brother-in-arms, John Cole, go on to fight in the Indian wars and, ultimately, the Civil War. Not only is he more or less openly gay, and in a loving relationship with a fellow soldier who helps negroes and rescues injured birds, but towards the end, he self-identifies as trans: ‘I feel a woman more than I ever felt a man … Just a thing that’s in you and you can’t gainsay.’
Having fled terrible hardships they find these days to be vivid and filled with wonder, despite the horrors they both see and are complicit in. Their lives are further enriched and imperilled when a young Indian girl crosses their path, and the possibility of lasting happiness emerges, if only they can survive.Moving from the plains of the West to Tennessee, Sebastian Barry's latest work is a masterpiece of atmosphere and language. Both an intensely poignant story of two men and the lives they are dealt, and a fresh look at some of the most fateful years in America's past, 'Days Without End' is a novel never to be forgotten.
“A haunting archeology of youth . . . Barry introduces a narrator who speaks with an intoxicating blend of wit and wide-eyed awe, his unsettlingly lovely prose unspooling with an immigrant’s peculiar lilt and a proud boy’s humor.”—The New York Times Book Review