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Joseph O’Connor

Photo © Urszula Soltys

Joseph O’Connor

Joseph O’Connor’s Star of the Sea was an international bestseller, a New York Times, Economist Notable Book of the Year, and a Sunday Times Number 1 bestseller. It won France’s Prix Millepages, Italy’s Premio Acerbi, the Irish Post Award for Fiction, the Nielsen Bookscan Golden Book Award, an American Library Association Award, the Hennessy/Sunday Tribune Hall of Fame Award, and the Prix Litteraire Zepter for European Novel of the Year. He is the author of nine novels and is the Inaugural Frank McCourt Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Limerick. Shadowplay was named Novel of the Year at the 2019 Irish Book Awards and was a finalist for the prestigious Costa Book Award.

All Joseph O’Connor's books

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Latest reviews

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    My Father’s House is a skillful portrayal of the evils of fascism and the fortitude demanded of those who would oppose it . . . O’Connor is an excellent writer, and the story is compelling.”

    — The Catholic Spirit, Jun 6 2024
  • “An intelligent thriller, which thrills and lifts the veil on a fascinating intertwining of gray areas, hideouts, secret passages, false identities, legends and disguises used by these unusual heroes.”

    — Actual News Magazine, May 11 2024
  • “The master story teller delivers crackling dialogue, tense and thrilling set pieces, and beautiful prose.”
    — Hot Press, Dec 20 2023
  • “A riveting tale about the power of community in the face of unfathomable evil... A seamless blend of fact and fiction by a master of the genre; a brisk, polyphonic narrative that brings the heroism of ordinary people thrillingly to life.”
    — Irish Times, Jan 28 2023
  • “A potent blend of excitement, suspense and intrigue...a gripping World War II-set drama featuring the unlikeliest of heroes, one whom the reader roots for every step of the way...[a] hugely satisfying book.”
    — Washington Post, Jan 28 2023
  • My Father’s House is primarily—and triumphantly—an intimate drama that illuminates both the fragility and the wonder of unlikely human connections forged in adversity and, in some cases, enduring for a lifetime.”
    — Wall Street Journal, Jan 13 2023
  • ★ “O’Connor is a masterful storyteller, weaving a violent, terrifying, suspenseful, yet ultimately uplifting story of one man’s courage and determination to fight back against Nazi brutality, whatever the risk. Superb!”
    — Booklist (starred review), Jan 12 2023
  • ★ “Riveting...This is top-drawer WWII fiction.”
    — Publishers Weekly (starred review), Nov 28 2022
  • ★ “If the story were told in typical thriller style, emphasizing action over language, it would still be good, but O’Connor’s phrasings are a special joy... A deeply emotional read.”
    — Kirkus Review (starred review), Nov 11 2022
  • “With Shadowplay, Joseph O’Connor gives us a vivid, exciting backstory for how Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’ came to be—don’t be scared, it’s tangled up with Stoker’s early experience working in theater.”
    — Broadway Direct, Nov 24 2020
  • Shadowplay is an ode to the art of the stage and the infectiousness and irresistibility of live theatre and performance, and all more poignant when for now it is not something we can experience.”
    — RTÉ, Nov 3 2020
  • “A terrific book, a dramatic, sad, but also richly funny account of some of the most famous characters in late-Victorian London.”
    — The Independent Ireland, Nov 1 2020
  • “In description, Shadowplay sounds like it’s all about plot, but, in reality, it’s all about the sentences so lush you could wrap them around you like a cloak.”
    — Minneapolis Star Tribune, Sep 13 2020
  • “Joseph O’Connor’s magnificent novel does even more than fly, it soars.”
    — The Washington Post, Jun 24 2020
  • “Artfully splicing truth with fantasy, O’Connor has a glorious time turning a ramshackle and haunted London playhouse into a primary source for Stoker’s Gothic imaginings.”
    — The New York Times Book Review, Jun 16 2020
  • “Subtly drawn and intensely affecting, this portrayal of accidental friendship, enduring love, frustrated ambition and, dare we say it, the alchemy of acting, recalls, in its effortless grace, those 19th-century novels that made readers of us all.”
    — The Wall Street Journal, Jun 5 2020
  • “An affectionate, tender story about everyday heroism, secret selves, and triumphs and tragedies on stage and in life and the many kinds of love that bind us together.”
    — Library Journal (Starred Review), Apr 1 2020
  • “This novel blows the dust off its Victorian trappings and brings them to scintillating life.”
    — Publishers Weekly (Starred Review), Feb 13 2020

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