Nazi appeasement in the English countryside, Irish republican violence, and the loneliness of a deaf mute

Profile #21: The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro. Profile by Suzanne Bosworth.

The reminiscences of a professional butler, set against the rise of Nazism abroad and the dangerous policy of appeasement at home. As he sets off on a road trip to Cornwall in pursuit of the greatest missed opportunity of his life, Stevens is at last forced to question his absolute dedication to the service of a flawed master.

The Remains of the Day

 

Profile #22: A Star Called Henry by Roddy Doyle. Profile by Megan Jones.

Henry Smart, born in Dublin to a one-legged whorehouse bouncer, grows up on the streets and becomes a boy-soldier in the Irish Citizen Army. His journey to ruthless assassin in the service of Michael Collins chronicles some of the most monumental moments in Irish history from the viewpoint of a slum boy desperate to escape his poverty and make a name for himself.

A Star Called Henry

 

Profile #23: The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers. Profile by Charlotte Chester.

A classic work of Southern Gothic fiction set in a mill town in 1930s Georgia. John Singer is deaf and mute, largely alone in the world until four very different characters find themselves drawn to him. A violent alcoholic, an aspiring musician, a frustrated black doctor and a quiet café owner come to rely on the silent Singer for a clearer understanding of their troubled existences.

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter