'Billy Gray was my best friend and I fell in love with his mother.'
Alexander Cleave, an actor who thinks his best days are behind him, remembers his first unlikely affair as a teenage boy in a small town in 1950s Ireland: the illicit meetings in a rundown cottage outside town; assignations in the back of his lover's car on sunny mornings and rain-soaked afternoons. And with these early memories comes something sharper and much darker - the more recent recollection of the actor's own daughter's suicide ten years before.
Ancient Light is the story of a life rendered brilliantly vivid: the obsession and selfishness of young love and the terrifying shock of grief. It is a dazzling novel, funny, utterly pleasurable and devastatingly moving in the same moment.
'Illuminating, funny, devastating. A meditation of breathtaking beauty and profundity on love and loss and death' Financial Times
'Banville perfectly captures the spirit of adolescence. A luminous, breathtaking work' Independent on Sunday 'Startlingly brilliant. Terrific - full of sadness and yearning' Sunday Telegraph
John Banville was born in Wexford, Ireland, in 1945. He is the author of fourteen previous novels including The Sea, which won the 2005 Man Booker Prize. He was recently awarded the Franz Kafka Prize. He lives in Dublin.
For more on our cookies and changing your settings click here.