The Elephant of Belfast

Available

Product Details

Price
$27.00  $24.84
Publisher
Counterpoint LLC
Publish Date
Pages
336
Dimensions
6.3 X 9.2 X 1.3 inches | 1.3 pounds
Language
English
Type
Hardcover
EAN/UPC
9781640094000

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About the Author

S. KIRK WALSH is a writer living in Austin, Texas. Her work has been widely published in The New York Times Book Review, Longreads, StoryQuarterly, and Electric Literature, among other publications. Over the years, she has been a resident at Ucross, Yaddo, Ragdale, and Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Walsh is the founder of Austin Bat Cave, a writing and tutoring center that provides free writing workshops for young writers throughout Austin. The Elephant of Belfast is her first novel.

Reviews

Kirkus Reviews, 1 of 10 Fiction Books to Look for This Year

A charming debut around a little-known chapter of World War II--the German blitz of Belfast in a city already reeling from sectarian violence. But the real heart of this story centers around the love and devotion between Hettie and Violet, a twenty-year-old zookeeper and an orphaned three-year-old Indian elephant. While war rages on, Hettie will go to great lengths to protect Violet giving readers a riveting story of strength and survival, hope and resilience. --Barnes & Noble

Inspired by the true story of the 'elephant angel' of Belfast, Walsh's debut is a stirring tale of grief, loss, and survival against the chaotic backdrop of the war and the IRA's actions. The unique setting of Belfast during WWII makes this book stand out . . . Overall, fans of WWII fiction and historical fiction will enjoy this fresh take on the era. --Booklist

Offering a distinctive slant among this year's strong World War II novels. --Library Journal

Walsh fictionalizes in her charming debut a little-known true story from WWII, that of a female Irish zookeeper and a 3,000-pound young elephant. The year is 1940 when 20-year-old Hettie Quin, a part-time zookeeper, waits at the Belfast docks for the arrival of Bellevue Zoo's latest attraction--a three-year-old elephant named Violet . . . Hettie's devotion to Violet forms the emotional core of this novel, which does an excellent job of recreating daily life in Belfast during WWII. Hettie and Violet's bond is one to treasure. --Publishers Weekly

Walsh delivers a turbulent portrait of life in a divided city . . . A unique perspective of a country at war and the lengths people will go for those they love. --Kirkus Reviews

Sensitively rendered and finely drawn, this remarkable story, based on true events, is both uplifting and heartbreaking. --Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train and The Exiles

The Elephant of Belfast knocked me flat and picked me up, not just once but many times over the course of S. Kirk Walsh's deeply satisfying telling. There's so much life in these pages, life as well as death--we're in wartime Belfast, dear reader, and the Luftwaffe is dropping bombs--that I couldn't help but feel changed by the end, experienced. Only the best novels do that, and the very fine Elephant of Belfast belongs in that rank. --Ben Fountain author of Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk

The Elephant of Belfast boasts not one but two dauntless heroines: Hettie, a young Irish zookeeper and Violet, a young Indian elephant. From their first meeting, Hettie is determined to protect Violet and as dangers mount, we cannot help cheering on her devotion and her resourcefulness. Walsh has written a novel of deep affection and knife-edge suspense. A brilliant debut. --Margot Livesey, author of The Boy in The Field

The Elephant of Belfast is a lovely book about a fascinating piece of history, and its two heroines--animal and human--are enthralling and beautifully drawn. S. Kirk Walsh writes wonderfully about heartbreak both personal and historic. --Elizabeth McCracken, author of Bowlaway

An elephant, a young zookeeper, the city of Belfast, bombings, and an IRA member are the improbable characters in this captivating and intimately felt novel that tells the story of a young woman's uncommon devotion and courage under fire. --Lily Tuck, author of Sisters and The Double Life of Liliane