The setting is Derry in the Northern Ireland of the 40s and 50s, fraught with political hatred, family secrets and lethal intrigue. As a young boy tries to make sense of life, poverty and violence shift and obscure the facts; meanwhile his night-time reading of Irish legends weaves enchantment through reality. Claustrophobic but lyrically charged, breathtakingly sad but vibrant and unforgettable, this is one of the finest books about growing up – in Ireland or anywhere – that has ever 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.
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