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Tender By Belinda McKeon


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The astonishing, lyrical and ambitious second novel by the winner of the Irish Book of the Year Award

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Tender Summary

Tender by Belinda McKeon

Catherine and James are as close as two friends could ever be. They meet in Dublin in the late 1990s, she a college student, he a fledgling artist - both recent arrivals from rural communities, coming of age in a city which is teeming - or so they are told - with new freedoms, new possibilities. Catherine has never met anyone quite like James. Talented, quick-witted, adventurous and charismatic, he helps Catherine to open her eyes, to take on life with more gusto than she has ever before known how to do. But while Catherine's horizons are expanding, James's own life is becoming a prison: as changed as the new Ireland may be, it is still not a place in which he feels able to be himself. Catherine desperately wants to help, but as life begins to take the friends in different directions, she discovers that there is a perilously fine line between helping someone and hurting them further. And when crisis hits, Catherine must face difficult truths not just about her closest bond - but about herself. From the author of the multi-award-winning debut Solace comes another dazzling exploration of the complexities of human relationships, a novel about friendship and youth, about selfhood and sexuality, about the lies we tell ourselves and the lies we are taught to tell. Brave, moving and powerfully told, Tender confirms Belinda McKeon's status as one of the most exciting contemporary voices in Irish fiction.

Customer Reviews - Tender

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Tender Reviews

Tender is an amazing novel, gripping, completely compelling, and at once demanding and satisfying. Belinda McKeon has an inimitable, to-die-for writing style, and a sublime talent for constructing a clear, often poetic exposition of the complexities of friendship and love, of the unfathomable nature of human relationships. -- Donal Ryan, author of THE SPINNING HEART Utterly exquisite, unflinchingly observed, Tender is the story of a specific obsessive love, but also the story of youth itself, the blinding needs of heart and body, the illusion that one can change reality to suit one's desires - just by wanting to enough. McKeon's intelligence and insight shine through every page, and the words themselves perform miracles of revelation as they dance from one sentence to the next -- Robin Black, author of LIFE DRAWING It's a great pleasure to read something so acute and beautifully written - especially the dialogue, the voices spring off the page - and also so subtly subversive. It's a story of self-realisation and artistic freedom told by the person who was realised upon. So many women will recognise themselves in Catherine -- Kate Clanchy, author of MEETING THE ENGLISH McKeon's first novel, Solace, was a work of quiet beauty that won the Irish Book of the Year Award. Here we go back to Ireland in the late 1990s where Catherine, a student of literature, embarks on an intense friendship with James, an artist in the making. I don't want to give anything away, but one of the joys of this novel is the unpredictable direction it takes and I read it in one sitting in a state of continual surprise -- Cathy Rentzenbrink The Bookseller

About Belinda McKeon

Belinda McKeon's first novel, Solace, won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize and the Sunday Independent Best Newcomer Award, and was named Bord Gais Energy Irish Book of the Year in 2011, as well as being shortlisted for the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. Her essays and journalism have appeared in the New York Times, the Paris Review, the Guardian and elsewhere. She grew up in the Irish midlands and now lives in New York. She teaches at Rutgers University.

Additional information

Tender by Belinda McKeon
Belinda McKeon
Used - Very Good
Pan Macmillan
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us.