Deirdre Madden Biography
(1960– ), Hidden Symptoms, First Fictions, Birds of the Innocent Wood, Remembering Light and Stone
Irish novelist, born in Co. Antrim, educated at Trinity College, Dublin and the University of East Anglia. Her novella Hidden Symptoms (1988) was published in Faber's First Fictions anthology. She won critical acclaim and the Somerset Maugham Prize for Birds of the Innocent Wood (1988), set in Ireland during the 1970s. Remembering Light and Stone (1992), which moves between Ireland and Italy, concerns its narrator's attempts to resolve her feelings of estrangement from her native country and to find some kind of reconciliation with her own past. Nothing is Black (1994), set in County Donegal, is about the relationship between three women—a painter, Claire, her cousin Nuala, who is prone to kleptomania, and Anna, a Dutch woman consumed by her thwarted desire for motherhood. In this, as in her earlier novels, Madden depicts the lives of her characters by focusing on the apparently inconsequential: details of their possessions, the meals they eat, and the daily tasks they perform are described with loving attentiveness, building up a complex and believable psychological portrait.