by Eoin McNamee
A Wendy Lamb Books hardcover
on sale January 9, 2007
978-0-375-83910-8 / 352 pages / $15.99 / NCR / Ages 9-12
Press release from Random House:
Raised amidst the Irish hills that inspired C. S. Lewis’ Narnia and were home to such literary greats as Samuel Beckett and James Joyce, acclaimed author Eoin McNamee’s childhood was steeped in literature. McNamee followed in his countrymen’s footsteps and penned several politically-charged thrillers, including the award-winning novel Resurrection Man. It wasn’t until he had two kids of his own that the quiet author considered writing for children.
In his debut children’s novel The Navigator, McNamee delivers a layered sci-fi adventure featuring a young boy named Owen, who suddenly finds himself alone in a world where time is flowing backward. With his house, his mother and life as he knows it gone, Owen joins the Resisters, a group of humans living in the old, abandoned workhouse in which he used to find refuge. Owen is joined by an impressive girl Resister named Cati, and together, the two fight to vanquish mankind’s ancient enemies, the Harsh, and to restore time. “The Harsh long for emptiness, for cold nothingness,” McNamee writes. But the longer Owen stays with the Resisters, the more he learns about his important role in this age-old battle and about his father’s mysterious and controversial death years ago.
McNamee has the rare ability to catapult readers into a story so solidly that the sounds, the tastes, even the temperatures of the book become real. The Navigator is the first book in an epic adventure series.
Eoin McNamee grew up near a workhouse very similar to the one featured in The Navigator. “It was a great place for a child to play – full of hidden paths and hideouts, and of course the river. It had a melancholy side as well – the Workhouse really was a workhouse for the poor. It was inevitable that it would be written about at one stage, and because my own childhood was involved, a children’s novel seemed inevitable.”
McNamee was born in County Down, North Ireland. He was awarded a Macaulay Fellowship for Irish Literature in 1990, after his 1989 novella The Last of Deeds (Raven Arts Press, Dublin), was shortlisted for the 1989 Irish Times/Aer Lingus Award for Irish Literature. The author currently lives in Ireland with his wife and two children, Owen and Kathleen.