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A powerful and unforgettable novel chronicling the army years of a young Irish immigrant in the Indian Wars and the American Civil War comes from Sebastian Barry, a two-time finalists for the Man Booker Prize.

Having fled the Great Famine in Ireland and now barely 17 years old, Thomas McNulty signs up for the U.S. Army in the 1850s and with his brother in arms, John Cole, goes to fight in the Indian Wars— against the Sioux and the Yurok — and, ultimately, in the Civil War. Orphans of horrible hardship themselves, given the dangers they see and are complicit in, discover these days to be lively and true.

Sebastian Barry’s recent job moving from the Wyoming grasslands to Tennessee is a classic of atmosphere and language. An extremely poignant tale of two boys and the makeshift household they develop with a youthful Sioux woman, Winona, Days Without End is a new and disturbing portrait of American history’s most fateful years and a novel that must never be overlooked.