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Peter Cunningham

Peter Cunningham (b. 1947) is an Irish writer living in County Kildare whose novels (at least as measured by Amazon’s sales figures) seem to be overlooked by American readers.  That’s unfortunate.  Cunningham is a dynamic novelist who tells engaging stories in an elegant style.  His characters are fully developed, his plots are absorbing, and his themes are timeless.

Caveat:  I say all this having read only three of Cunningham’s novels.  Those three have nonetheless made me a fan.  My reviews (linked below) explain my admiration of his work.  Cunningham’s Monument novels, set in rural Ireland during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, bring life to richly detailed characters while capturing the essence of a time and place.  Although the two I most admire are “serious” novels of literary merit, Cunningham has also written several thrillers, one of which, The Snow Bees, I have read and reviewed.

Before he became a novelist, Cunningham gained writing experience as a journalist and newspaper columnist.  Cunningham also pursued careers as an accountant and as a commodities trader.  According to his website, Cunningham’s varied work experience has included laboring as a barge painter, a kitchen porter, a clerk on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, and a sheep farmer.

Cunningham wrote his first novel in 1986 and began writing full-time in 1989.  In addition to the books he has published under his own name, he’s written thrillers under the pen names Peter Lauder and Peter Benjamin.

This is Peter Cunningham’s bibliography.

The Peter Cunningham novels reviewed on the Tzer Island book blog are:

The Snow Bees - first published in 1988, the novel is an entertaining (albeit typical) thriller involving drug dealers and Basque terrorists.

Consequences of the Heart - the second novel in the Monument series, first published in 1998, chronicles the loves and conflicts of two Irish families from the late nineteenth century to the end of the twentieth century.

The Sea and the Silence - first published in 2008, the fourth and most recent installment of the Monument series follows the troubled life of an Irish woman from 1943 to 1963, focusing primarily on the World War II years.

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