Reading in the Dark

by Seamus Deane

A New York Times Notable BookWinner of the Guardian Fiction PrizeWinner of the Irish Times Fiction Award and International AwardHugely acclaimed in Great Britain, where it was awarded the Guardian Fiction Prize and short-listed for the Booker, Seamus Deane’s first novel is a mesmerizing story of childhood set against the violence of Northern Ireland in the 1940s and 1950s.The boy narrator grows up haunted by a truth he both wants and does not want todiscover.

  • Paperback
  • Pages: 256 pages
  • Average Rating: 3.73 out of 5
  • Published February 24th 1998 by Vintage Books USA
  • Original Title: Reading in the Dark: A Novel
  • ISBN: 0375700234 (ISBN13: 9780375700231)
  • Edition Language: English
  • Literary Awards: Man Booker Prize Nominee (1996)
  • Guardian Fiction Award (1996)
  • Whitbread Award Nominee for First Novel (1996)
  • Irish Times International Fiction Prize (1997)

A New York Times Notable BookWinner of the Guardian Fiction PrizeWinner of the Irish Times Fiction Award and International AwardHugely acclaimed in Great Britain, where it was awarded the Guardian Fiction Prize and short-listed for the Booker, Seamus Deane’s first novel is a mesmerizing story of childhood set against the violence of Northern Ireland in the 1940s and 1950s.The boy narrator grows up haunted by a truth he both wants and does not want to discover. The matter: a deadly betrayal, unspoken and unspeakable, born of political enmity. As the boy listens through the silence that surrounds him, the truth spreads like a stain until it engulfs him and his family. And as he listens, and watches, the world of legend–the stone fort of Grianan, home of the warrior Fianna; the Field of the Disappeared, over which no gulls fly–reveals its transfixing reality. Meanwhile the real world of adulthood unfolds its secrets like a collection of folktales: the dead sister walking again; the lost uncle, Eddie, present on every page; the family house “as cunning and articulate as a labyrinth, closely designed, with someone sobbing at the heart of it.”Seamus Deane has created a luminous tale about how childhood fear turns into fantasy and fantasy turns into fact. Breathtakingly sad but vibrant and unforgettable, Reading in the Dark is one of the finest books about growing up–in Ireland or anywhere–that has ever been written.