In a Dark Wood. Amanda Craig

ISBN 13: 9780007291533

In a Dark Wood. Amanda Craig

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9780007291533: In a Dark Wood. Amanda Craig

Interspersing the magic of fairy tales with a wry yet touching narrative, Amanda Craig examines the thin line between fantasy and reality, creativity and mental illness.

Benedick Hunter is a recently divorced, out-of-work, thirty-nine-year-old actor. Feeling both guilty and sorry for himself, he blunders through weekends with his two spirited children and fends off various women desperate to snare an eligible man, all the time fearing that he is on the brink of a nervous breakdown.

His life takes on a new direction, however, when he discovers a long-forgotten book of fairy tales his mother wrote and illustrated decades earlier. Drawn to its pages, he becomes entranced by the hints of reality embedded in the stories, from thinly veiled portraits of his own father and his parents’ acquaintances to alluring glimpses of his mother as a young woman. Convinced that the stories can explain his mother’s suicide when he was six and put an end to his agonizing mood swings, Benedick embarks on a journey to untangle the past, a journey that eventually takes him to the heart of his own nature, modern fatherhood, manic depression, and the elusive character of fairy-tales.

With imagination and incisive wit, Amanda Craig has written a novel that was selected as one of the “best of the year’s books” by the The Times of London, which wrote, “Although not frightening enough to give you sleepless nights, Craig’s wonderful, page-turning storytelling will keep you up way past your time for bed.”

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From the Back Cover:

"[An] absorbing, often dreamlike story."--The New York Times

"Craig. . . . reconfigures archetypal characters and situations. . . . finding the hope and humanity in a frightening and confusing disease."--The Village Voice

"Amanda Craig’s In a Dark Wood is tantalizing, dark, mysterious and strange. Its deft insights cut sharply as it evokes the inside of mental illness with uncanny lucidity and humor.” –Andrew Solomon, author of The Noonday Demon

In a Dark Wood explores the immensely complicated, often open borders between imagination and mental illness. Craig has written a profound account of darkness, and she has done it in a passionate, original, and beautiful way.” –Kay Redfield Jamison, author of An Unquiet Mind

"A sneakily beguiling book."--Salon

"Craig's wonderful page-turning storytelling will keep you up way past your time for bed."--The Times (London)
“In a sly blend of southern gothic and British wit, Craig weaves . . . a story that is both whimsical and unsettling.” –People

In a Dark Wood is a first-rate story--both psychologically acute and mythologically convincing--and often very funny as well.” –Alison Lurie

“The notable strengths of her writing lay in her sardonic sense of humor and the ability to spin a comedy of adult manners around the serious predicament of children.”–The Times Literary Supplement

“Witty and disturbing. . . . A novel of both accomplishment and charm.” –The Daily Mail

“Just as the best fairy tales do, In a Dark Wood exposes rich depths of meaning through a relatively simple plot.” –The Winston-Salem Journal

“Clever, imaginative, and even darkly humorous, Craig's novel, like a book of beloved fairy tales, gives us a hero to root for and an inventive, multi-layered story.” –Booklist

“A complex, original, and often moving book, which also manages to be entertaining.”–The Mail on Sunday

“A dreamy, spellbinding novel. . . . Craig brings chilling suspense and dark humor to a stylized study of the loss of childhood innocence, the complexities of creativity and the correlation between artistic genius and mental health--all expertly cloaked in the symbols and metaphors of fairy tales.” –Publishers Weekly

About the Author:

AMANDA CRAIG is the author of Foreign Bodies, A Private Place, and A Vicious Circle, which is currently being developed for BBC television. In a Dark Wood is the first of her novels to be published in the United States. Craig, who writes regularly for The Times, The Sunday Times, and The New Statesman, lives in London.

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