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A haunted childhood, lived out in two dimensions. One is legendary- the Sun-fort of Grianan, home of the warrior Fianna; the Field of the Disappeared, over which no gulls fly; the house in Donegal where children are stolen away by demonic forces. The other is actual- the city of Derry in the Northern Ireland of the 40s and 50s; a place that is also haunted by political enmities, family secrets, lethal intrigue. The boy narrator of READING IN THE DARK grows up enclosed in these two worlds, sensing that they are intertwined in some mysterious ways that he both wants and does not want to discover. Through the silence that surrounds him, he feels the truth spreading like a stain until it engulfs him and his family. Claustrophobic but lyrically charged, 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 every been written.
Seamus Deane was born in Derry in 1940. He has published a number of works of criticism and poetry and is the general editor of the Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing. He is currently teaching at the University of Notre Dame.