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Deane, Seamus

(British, 1940– )

The further you get into the book, the more you understand the title, Reading in the Dark (1996), because it applies to you, the reader, as much as it does to the boy narrator. It starts as a mystery story as you urge the boy on in his desire to understand the things he's not being told. Growing up in a large Catholic family in Derry in the 1950s, the boy's world is full of tales—family feuds, folk legends, religious parables. Deane mixes these with sharply realized snapshots of family life. The mounting pressure as you start to sift the truths from the fictions, to work out what really happened in the family's past, is unbearably gripping. A mature, unblenching first novel, eloquent and achingly sad. Deaneis also known as a poet and a cultural historian.

John McGahern, William Trevor, Tim Winton. See IRELAND  RV

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Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionBooks & Authors: Award-Winning Fiction (Co-Fi)