A Shout in the Ruins
'Achingly relevant' - Grazia
'Gorgeous and devastating' New York Times
'An American Civil War epic [which] confirms Powers as a significant talent' - Andrew Motion, Observer
'Contains moments that burn' Daily Mail
A stunning novel about violence, power and love by Kevin Powers, the acclaimed author of The Yellow Birds and winner of both the 2012 Guardian First Book Award and the Hemingway/PEN Award.
A nighttime whipping in a lamplit barn.
A ruined leg tossed onto a pile of discarded limbs.
A hand snuffing out a desperate cry behind a bedroom's locked door.
In A Shout in the Ruins, Kevin Powers returns to the battlefield and its aftermath, this time in his native Virginia, just before and during the Civil War and ninety years later. The novel pinpoints with unerring emotional depth the nature of random violence, the necessity of love and compassion, and the fragility and preciousness of life. It will endure as a stunning novel about what we leave behind, what a life is worth, what is said and unsaid, and the fact that ultimately what will survive of us is love.
Written with the same emotional intensity, harrowing realism, and poetic precision that made The Yellow Birds one of the most celebrated novels of the past decade, A Shout in the Ruins cements Powers' place as one of the most important novelists of our time.
'Beautifully formed sentences express unsettling truths about humanity, yet tendrils of hope emerge, showing how love and kindness can take root in seemingly barren earth.' - Sarah Johnson, Booklist
Kevin Powers was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia. A former soldier who served with the US army in Iraq in 2004-5, he studied English at Virginia Commonwealth University after his honorable discharge and received an MFA in Poetry from the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin. His debut novel, The Yellow Birds, won the Guardian First book Award, the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award, and was a finalist for the National Book Award. His first collection of poetry, Letter Composed During a Lull in the Fighting, was published in 2014 and was shortlisted for both the TS Eliot Prize and the Forward Prize.