Every Single Minute

Hugo Hamilton

‘Every Single Minute’ is a novel by inspired by the force of honesty – a moving portrait of an Irish writer dying of cancer. Visiting Berlin for the first and last time, she is remembered, in prose of arresting directness, by the book’s narrator. Touring the city, Úna strives still to understand the tragic death of her younger brother. At last, at a performance of the opera ‘Don Carlo’, she realises the true cost of letting memory dictate the course of her life. From the author of ‘The Speckled People’ the uplifting and heartbreaking, ‘Every Single Minute’ is the story of a candid friendship, full of affection and humour, and of reconciliation, hard-won at long last.

Reviews of Every Single Minute

  • ‘A profound and moving portrait … The substance of the fiction is so vivid and precise, and draws so heavily on the known detail of O’Faolain’s life, that you never for a moment … think of it as anything other than true … There are moments of great tenderness and honesty … He has brought those Berlin days back to irrepressible, complicated, poignant life’ Tim Adams, Observer

    ‘Hugo Hamilton’s style and imaginative systems are filled with power and subtlety. He approaches human failing with a sympathy and an understanding which are poetic and sharply concrete. Each character he creates contains a world, and in ‘Every Single Minute’ it is a world not only haunted by death, but also by beauty and the strangeness of being alive. A deeply memorable novel’ Colm Tóibín

    ‘Hamilton’s story, a slightly fictionalised account of his 2008 trip to the city with the dying Nuala O’Faolain, is a tender one, steeped in regret and misunderstanding. Told with economy and directness, it takes the reader to the heart of things … Ordinary moments take on great significance in this tale, which is as much about living in the moment as it is about revisiting the past’ Belinda Smith, Sunday Times

    ‘Poignant and profound … Candid, sharply observed and engaging’ Alexandra Gilmour, Financial Times

    ‘Hamilton’s warm attentiveness make this a loving homage to an indomitable woman’ Metro

    ‘Hamilton remains one of the most unpredictable and interesting of Irish writers … “Every Single Minute” is a brave and contemplative novel that questions the role of memory, the responsibilities we owe to our siblings and offspring, and the pain associated with turning a traumatic past into art’ John Boyne, Irish Times

    ‘The writing – spare, rhythmic, occasionally poetic and completely devoid of quotation marks – is again, Hamilton-like, seeking warts and all to illuminate the wider and deeper human experience. It glitters’ Irish Independent