Author(s): Sarah Bannan
SHORTLISTED FOR THE SUNDAY INDEPENDENT NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR AWARD 2015Adamsville wasn't a place that people came to. It was a place you were from, where you were born, where you were raised, where you stayed... Before Carolyn Lessing arrived, nothing much had ever happened in Adamsville, Alabama. Each week, at dinner tables and in the high school assembly, everyone would pray for the football team to win. Each year, the Adams High hotlist would be updated, and girls would rise and fall within its ranks. Each day, everyone lived by the unwritten rules that cheerleaders did not hang out with the swim team, seniors did not date freshmen and the blistering heat was something that should never be remarked upon. But then the new girl came. All Carolyn's social media could reveal was that she had moved from New Jersey, she had 1075 friends - and she didn't have a relationship status. In beach photos with boys who looked like Abercrombie models she seemed beautiful, but in real life she was so much more. She was perfect. This was all before the camera crews arrived, before it became impossible to see where rumour ended and truth began, and before the Annual Adamsville Balloon Festival, when someone swore they saw the captain of the football team with his arm around Carolyn, and cracks began to appear in the dry earth.
Prep meets The Virgin Suicides in a haunting coming-of-age story for the digital generation and an examination of the hypocrisy of small town life, where no one quite knows where rumour ends and truth begins
Riveting, agile and beautifully judged, this is one of those essential stories that will capture the imagination of different generations of readers. Sarah Bannan bears witness to the dark core of youth culture and yet manages to find meaning even in the anonymous corners. A superb debut novel Colum McCann A provocative and timely novel that unsettles the reader and challenges our view of contemporary youth. Its subject matter is universal; parents and children around the world will recognise the difficult and fractured society it depicts John Boyne There is nothing new about bullying, but many of the weapons are new. Sarah Bannan brings us right into the middle of bullying, 21st Century-style, in a novel that is chilling, engrossing and very, very impressive Roddy Doyle
Sarah Bannan was born in 1978 in upstate New York. She graduated from Georgetown University in 2000 and then moved to Ireland, where she has lived ever since. She is the Head of Literature at the Irish Arts Council and lives in Dublin with her husband and daughter. @sarahkeegs