Hag's Head Press - Independent Publishers - Dirty Sky by Marsha Swan

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170 x 170 mm PBK
192 pages
50 b/w photographs
978 0 9546313 1 4
Available only in Ireland.



'All I have to remember is that when I feel the rope reaching the end of the swing, it's time to let go. I'm staring ahead into the same horizon I've been looking out at all my life—terraced fields glued together in the moonlight, one just like the next, same as ever—but when you're at that point in your swing and you look into the blank white-eyed stare of the fields as your fingers release, you see something new. Suddenly the land becomes a creature luminous and captured—one flash of eternity blinks empty into your eyes as you shut them, think about falling feet first and holding your nose. Feet in the cowshit muck of the bottom of the pond, you know you've made it and you're going to live. And that frozen postcard of your home through someone else's eyes is a million miles above you, you paused under this freezing water trying to find up, a million miles away until the next jump.'

Dirty Sky
tells the story of four characters growing up near a Midwestern slaughterhouse town. Struggling against adolescent discontent and trials both real and imagined, they search together for ways to escape the everyday. Swan's prose shifts between the stark and the strikingly poetic, where the landscape is brought to life as a place of ethereal beauty.

Marsha Swan grew up near Sioux City, Iowa, and began Hag's Head Press to self-publish Dirty Sky, her first novel.

'Swan's dark novel is a compulsive read… [She] has delivered an impressive debut'
Irish Independent

'The writing, sometimes spare, sometimes poetic, simply shines'
Irish Examiner

'A well-written, beautifully produced debut novel about life in a no-beat American town'
Irish Times Magazine

'Swan has a great eye for detail and a deep empathy for her characters… Dirty Sky is a book well worth reading and one that will linger in your mind long after you've finished reading it.'
Totally Dublin

'Beautifully written and unusually illustrated… [Swan's] technique is perfect'
Books Ireland

'an exquisitely written story of teenage frustration in an American mid-western town'
Image magazine

'A clever, troubling novel'
Sunday Business Post



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