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A House of Children

By Joyce Cary

Childhood, in all its intense, magical spirit, is powerfully evoked in this radiant novel of Donegal summers at the turn of the twentieth century.

Inspired by Cary’s own childhood, A House of Children takes the reader to Duamara, a house on the wild coast of Donegal where six-year-old Evelyn Corner is sent each year for his holidays. It is a rugged and magical place bordered by the metallic presence of the sea, a place where a boy can run, swim and climb with joyful abandon. But amidst the excitement and innocence may be glimpsed the occasional hint of life as it will be when the freedoms of childhood have passed. 

A House of Children won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize in 1941 and has been favourably compared with another Irish coming-of-age classic, Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Although it may serve as an excellent introduction to Cary’s work, A House of Children will particularly appeal to readers with an interest in Irish and/or Anglo-Irish writing, and to Cary’s many admirers. 

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