Oran Ryan is Dublin novelist,, playwright, poet and screenwriter. In 2008 he won an Arts Council Bursary award for his current project New Order from Zero.
Oran's first published novel, The Death of Finn concerns the sudden and untimely death of Joe Finn, a brilliant and eccentric young monk, and traces the impact of his death on the people around him, in particular his one-time best friend Frank, himself an ex-monk. The Death of Finn is a love story and a story of friendship. This beautifully written novel traces the relationship between Frank Ryan and Joe Finn, and the effect that this relationship, Finn's life and death has on Frank and on other people in their lives. It explores love and its absence as well as the power of institutions over individual relationships. Finn manages to be a truly Irish book while simultaneously evoking an internationally recognisable sense of place. It is also evocative of the past while being truly modern. Resplendent with beautiful one-liners and carefully drawn characters, it is sure to become and to remain one of the classics of Irish literature as Oran Ryan will become and remain on of its voices. Underlying the main text of The Death of Finn is a sub-text concerning a book, Giovanni Seipi at Home that the main character of the novel, Joe Finn, has himself written. In a unique venture, Seven Towers Ltd has produced a miniature version of extracts from this book to accompany the publication of The Death of Finn, Extracts from "Giovanni Seipi at Home". This miniature book is in the form of an academic biography and is written in the voice of Joe Finn.
"Oran is a new and powerful voice in Irish literature". Seamus Cashman
Seamus also praised The Death of Finn for "the fine detail of the writing, and the clarity and simplicity of expression and phraseology" and described it as "a serious and entertaining and perceptive novel of relationships and ideas and a book which will hold readers enthralled and awakened as they journey through it".
"Ryan brings a self-assured tone to this his debut novel" Sunday Tribune
"The Death of Finn succeeds well as a study of the search for faith and the inner workings of monasticism as seen from the Irish Catholic viewpoint, while also addressing the question of honesty with self and with others" Book View Ireland, Irish Emigrant (www.emigrant.ie).
Ten Short Novels by Arthur Kruger is Oran Ryan's second novel. This novel circumvents the natural order of novel writing as it is written in a cubistic format and the series of short novels contained within the novel are written by the hero of the novel himself, rather than the real-life author. Each chapter takes a different life, giving ten different perspectives on Arthur Kruger, some as lived by Kruger after he kills himself and inexplicably finds himself alive after being hit by a train. Exploring themes like life, love and the after-life, Kruger, as the author, challenges the reader to question their understanding of existence. Ten Short Novels can be read as a possible journey into a mind in the grip of a breakdown or the fictional autobiography of a man who kills himself and inexplicably finds himself still alive. Whichever way the reader experiences it, living life will never be the same again after reading Ten Short Novels by Arthur Kruger.
Writer and actor Frank Kelly, who launched the novel, described it as a stimulating, enjoyable and challenging novel "that made me chuckle with its wry Beckett-like humour."
Patrick Chapman was born in 1968. His poetry collections are Jazztown (Raven Arts Press, Dublin, 1991), The New Pornography (Salmon Poetry, Co. Clare, 1996), Breaking Hearts and Traffic Lights (Salmon Poetry, Co. Clare, 2007) and A Shopping Mall on Mars (BlazeVOX Books, New York, 2008). He has also written a collection of stories, The Wow Signal (Bluechrome, 2007); an audio drama, Doctor Who: Fear of the Daleks; and an award-winning film, Burning the Bed (2003), which starred Gina McKee and Aidan Gillen. He won first prize for a story in the 2003 Cinescape Genre Literary Awards. With Philip Casey, he co-founded the Irish Literary Revival website. He lives in Dublin. (SevenTowers)