Quinn Boyle is a lobsterman afloat in a shambled vessel, haunted by his battles with lobsters and with heroin, and ever behind on his child support. Since Quinn lost a man off his boat and served time for possession, only naïve beginners will work with him. On his final lobster run, Quinn’s down to his last options. He hires on an old nemesis, Freddy Santoro, who’s facing prison time of his own. Three days later, they’re both gone, lost without a trace.
Robbie Boyle, a small-time local sportswriter, looked after his younger brother as best he could. Now that Quinn has disappeared, Robbie reaches out to Quinn’s estranged daughter, Christine, and assumes the fatherly role his brother never shouldered. A year later, as they admit they might be better off without Quinn’s complicated presence in their lives, Robbie gets a strange tip: Santoro is apparently living in the Pacific Northwest. Telling no one and risking everything, Robbie sets out to find Santoro and determine what happened to Quinn. What he discovers will remap the course of their lives.
Edward J. Delaney is an award-winning author, journalist, and filmmaker. His books include the novels Follow the Sun, Broken Irish, and Warp & Weft, and the short story collection The Drowning and Other Stories. His short fiction has also been published in the Atlantic and Best American Short Stories, and featured on PRI's Selected Shorts program. Among other honors, he has received the PEN/New England Award, O. Henry Prize, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. He is also the co-author of Born to Play, by Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia. As a journalist, Delaney has written for publications including the Denver Post and Chicago Tribune, received the National Education Reporting Award, and has served as an editor at the Neiman Journalism Lab at Harvard University. As a filmmaker, he has directed and produced documentary films including The Times Were Never So Bad: The Life of Andre Dubus and Library of the Early Mind.
Born and raised in Massachusetts, Delaney has also spent time in Georgia, Florida, and Colorado, and now lives in Rhode Island, where he teaches at Roger Williams University and edits the literary journal Mount Hope.
Praise for Follow the Sun
Big Other "Most Anticipated Small Press Book" selection
"An absorbing story about regret and redemption. . . . [Delaney] has a keen eye for detail and a knack for creating colorful, naturalistic dialogue that imbues each character with depth and agency." —Providence Journal
"A family saga wrapped in a seaside mystery. . . . Stealthy, quietly captivating." —Portland Press Herald
"Delaney tells multiple moving stories in his third character-driven novel, each intricately woven into the fabric of the others. . . . [His] portrayal of his characters' struggles to survive their troubled pasts is heartbreakingly realistic and honest, making the suspense and its eventual resolution all the more meaningful." —Booklist
"Outstanding. . . . Written in an artfully terse style that not only carries the story but conveys a sense of the working-class world it's set in. The dialogue is especially sharp, delivered in quick, polished punches. Characters can be sarcastic, even harsh in their dealings with each other, but their humanity and underlying sorrows come through in every exchange." —Foreword Reviews
"Delaney writes with well-honed grit and artful description. . . . Everyone seems smothered by the atmosphere and hard-knock life of a small fishing town with few available dreams or modes of escape. Delaney is wonderfully adept at working that atmosphere on his characters with compelling results." —Shelf Awareness for Readers
"Leads the reader to a deeper understanding of family and what family represents. . . . Addresses contemporary issues . . . and despair when few options are left in making life choices. The locations in which these decisions are made do not take place in upscale homes and fancy places but on lobster boats, in prison, newspaper offices and local bars." —North of Oxford
"An impressive cast of characters. . . . A dramatic and action-filled climax." —NewPages
"Follow the Sun is just plain fantastic. Edward J. Delaney has orchestrated a tight, tense page-turner and a harrowing, deeply imagined literary portrait of an entire family, perpetually on the brink of decimation. He lands the reader in perfectly rendered portside bars, small-time newspaper offices, lobster boats, prison. Everywhere, there are the Boyle brothers and their kin, struggling with legacies of poverty, of violence, of the almost lost cause for personal freedom, for modest, hardworking hope. Their lives are done full justice because they are depicted with astonishing precision and artfulness. What a knockout read." —Paul Harding, author of Tinkers and Enon
"In this pungent, gritty novel, hardscrabble lives are rendered with utter realism, terrific dialogue, and a slow-burning tenderness for all concerned. Delaney's knowledge of this milieu is never in doubt, and his control of the material is masterful." —Phillip Lopate, author of To Show and Tell and A Mother's Tale
Praise for Edward J. Delaney and Broken Irish
"[Delaney] cares about details and understands their importance to the larger themes of loss, desperation, and betrayed loyalties. His characters are not merely vehicles for ideas, but rather fully realized, familiar people, whose failures are heartbreakingly authentic." —Boston Globe
"For more than a decade, Edward J. Delaney has depicted the struggles of working-class New Englanders in his engrossing and thoughtfully rendered novels. . . . [He] excels at crafting poignant narratives that honor these struggling communities without whitewashing away their flaws." —Providence Journal
"[Broken Irish] has a complex plot and a driving, fast-paced narrative. . . . Highly recommended." —Star Tribune
"Searing, unforgettable. . . .Though Broken Irish deals with dark subjects it doesn't come off as heavy-handed. Exceedingly clever, the connection between the characters isn't revealed until the very end of the book, making you want to go back to the beginning to sort out the pieces and see how these characters' lives are intertwined." —Missourian
"Glistens with poetic charisma. . . . Delaney does a tremendous job with the different voices. . . . Perspectives jump effortlessly from character to character, brain to heart, motivation to instinct, love to fear." —Brooklyn Rail
"A masterpiece." —Library Journal (starred review)
"Beautifully and heartbreakingly balanced." —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Readers will be captivated. . . . [Delaney] demonstrate great dexterity and storytelling acumen in his lyrical page-turner." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"In an artfully constructed story . . . Delaney tackles corporate corruption, the sex-abuse scandal in the Catholic Church, gun violence, and, especially, alcoholism (in searing passages on the ravages of drink that recall Malcolm Lowry's Under the Volcano)." —Booklist (starred review)
"Muscular and taut. . . . A great story that reaches into a reader's life [and] poses important questions about people, fate and community." —Shelf Awareness for Readers
"Epic in its scope but relentlessly compelling in its storytelling—not a common combination—Broken Irish is a splendidly readable and richly textured novel. Edward J. Delaney is an enormously gifted writer." —Robert Olen Butler, author of A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain and Perfume River
"In Delaney's South Boston little is lost, nothing forgotten. Old sins, old wounds haunt his characters, young and old, and reverberate throughout his wonderfully complicated plot. Broken Irish is an enthralling, satisfying novel." —Margot Livesey, author of The Flight of Gemma Hardy and The Hidden Machinery
"An entire community is on the brink. Hope is the only hope. And faith cannot scrub the grime off its hands. With Broken Irish, Delaney delivers a gripping epic." —Adam Braver, author of Mr. Lincoln's Wars and The Disappeared
"If you're anything like me, you Will. Not. Be. Able. To. Stop. Reading." —David Abrams, author of Fobbit and Brave Deeds, at the Quivering Pen