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The narrator of this harrowing and hilarious novel is Wil Carson, a former Protestant ex-thug from Northern Ireland. Wils adolescent hatred of Catholics is inherited from his bigoted father, but his sardonic twist on life as a no-hoper from the Backstreets of East Belfast is all his own. When the opportunity of a lifetime arisesa chance to travel to America as part of a church-sponsored peace projectWil decides to swallow his prejudices and go along with the program. But his goodwill only goes so far, and a series of tragi-comic events lands him in a Wisconsin penitentiary. Wils stint behind bars leaves him plenty of time to review his past deeds, ponder the choices hes made, and reflect on a life of mixed blessings and curses. The Rainbow Singer offers a unique slant on Northern Irelands ethnic strife as well as an utterly original and distinct new voice in fiction.