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Girl in the Dark: A Memoir
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Published:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group 2015
Status:
Available from OverDrive
Description
Haunting, lyrical, unforgettable, Girl in the Dark is a brave new memoir of a life without light.

     Anna Lyndsey was young and ambitious and worked hard; she had just bought an apartment; she was falling in love. Then what started as a mild intolerance to certain kinds of artificial light developed into a severe sensitivity to all light. 
     Now, at the worst times, Anna is forced to spend months on end in a blacked-out room, where she loses herself in audiobooks and elaborate word games in an attempt to ward off despair. During periods of relative remission, she can venture out cautiously at dawn and dusk into a world that, from the perspective of her cloistered existence, is filled with remarkable beauty. And through it all there is Pete, her love and her rock, without whom her loneliness seems boundless.
     One day Anna had an ordinary life, and then the unthinkable happened. But even impossible lives, she learns, endure. Girl in the Dark is a tale of an unimaginable fate that becomes a transcendent love story. It brings us to an extraordinary place from which we emerge to see the light and the world anew.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
03/03/2015
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780385539616
ASIN:
B00N6PCZX6
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Anna Lyndsey. (2015). Girl in the Dark: A Memoir. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Anna Lyndsey. 2015. Girl in the Dark: A Memoir. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Anna Lyndsey, Girl in the Dark: A Memoir. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2015.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Anna Lyndsey. Girl in the Dark: A Memoir. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2015. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Grouped Work ID:
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Needs Update?:
No
Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 17:33:33
Date Updated:
Dec 06, 2020 02:45:11
Last Metadata Check:
Jul 03, 2022 08:58:07
Last Metadata Change:
Jun 26, 2022 09:15:19
Last Availability Check:
Jul 03, 2022 08:58:10
Last Availability Change:
May 11, 2020 19:42:41
Last Grouped Work Modification Time:
Jul 06, 2022 02:08:36

OverDrive Product Record

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      • bioText: Anna Lyndsey is a pen name. Lyndsey worked for several years in London as a civil servant until she became ill. She now lives in Hampshire, England.
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title
Girl in the Dark
fullDescription
Haunting, lyrical, unforgettable, Girl in the Dark is a brave new memoir of a life without light.

     Anna Lyndsey was young and ambitious and worked hard; she had just bought an apartment; she was falling in love. Then what started as a mild intolerance to certain kinds of artificial light developed into a severe sensitivity to all light. 
     Now, at the worst times, Anna is forced to spend months on end in a blacked-out room, where she loses herself in audiobooks and elaborate word games in an attempt to ward off despair. During periods of relative remission, she can venture out cautiously at dawn and dusk into a world that, from the perspective of her cloistered existence, is filled with remarkable beauty. And through it all there is Pete, her love and her rock, without whom her loneliness seems boundless.
     One day Anna had an ordinary life, and then the unthinkable happened. But even impossible lives, she learns, endure. Girl in the Dark is a tale of an unimaginable fate that becomes a transcendent love story. It brings us to an extraordinary place from which we emerge to see the light and the world anew.
reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Boston Globe
      • content: "Absolutely stunning ... A gorgeous writer of rare honesty and wit."
      • premium: False
      • source: The New York Times Book Review
      • content: "Melodic, penetrating ... [Girl in the Dark] reveals the quiet, ingenious consciousness of a poet. Anna Lyndsey is both close observer and philosopher, capable of describing her world and also of pondering what it signifies."
      • premium: False
      • source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
      • content: "What stays with the reader is [Lyndsey's] gutsiness, her imagination and fortitude. She doesn't give up, but keeps looking for ways to stay sharp."
      • premium: False
      • source: The Guardian
      • content: "[Girl in the Dark] sparkles with dark humour and wonder at the world ... beautifully affecting ... A tribute to the power of humanity, generosity and endurance, Girl in the Dark is incredibly powerful stuff."
      • premium: False
      • source: Daily Mail
      • content: "An extraordinary memoir ... Girl In The Dark is beautifully written. The author's intelligence shines on every page, and her will to survive (despite those black thoughts in her dark room) is inspiring."
      • premium: False
      • source: Publishers Weekly
      • content: "Deeply affecting ... Working gingerly with the array of metaphors that emerge from darkness and offering small, telling details, Lyndsey achieves a powerful assertion of self against the eclipse of all that she used to hold dear in the realm of light."
      • premium: False
      • source: Susannah Cahalan, author of the New York Times-bestselling Brain on Fire
      • content: "The premise of Girl in the Dark seems lifted out of a Gothic novel: a woman whose flesh is burned by light is confined to a dark box of a room. But this story is so much more than a medical mystery or a nightmarishly true tale. I read this book, a memoir that reads like an epic poem, pen in hand, feverishly underlining sentence after sentence. Yes, life is suffering, but in the end, as Anna Lyndsey so aptly puts it, 'Words are wonderful.' This book is a gift, a testament to the power of art as a saving grace."
      • premium: False
      • source: Sonali Deraniyagala, author of Wave, winner of the PEN/Ackerly Prize and finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award
      • content: "In this astonishing memoir Anna Lyndsey takes us into the world of a rare and shocking illness, and we emerge awed by a shining love story. Anna writes with such honesty and grace and mischief about how her condition forces her to retreat into blackness--yet we see that this new space she so bravely creates for herself is suffused with light."
      • premium: False
      • source: Christa Parravani, author of Her
      • content: "It takes courage to heal, to step outside and want to feel the full magnificence of the sun. Taking that journey with a writer of such rare gifts as Anna Lyndsey is pure pleasure."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        January 19, 2015
        In this deeply affecting work about her increasingly debilitating dermal sensitivity to light, former British civil servant turned piano teacher Lyndsey moves the reader with her wry, intimately detailed narrative. When exposure to her computer screen became unbearable pain on her face, she quit her high-level writing job at the Department of Work and Pensions in 2005 and began a gradual process of vanishing from sight. She moved to Hampshire to live with her understanding and loving boyfriend Pete, where she spent most of her time in a blacked-out room listening to books on tape, exercising, receiving fewer and fewer visitors (like her intrepid pianist mother), and doing mind-bending word games “to play in the dark.” Minimizing her agonizing exposure to light (now over her entire body) required her to venture out only after sundown, except during periods of remission, forcing her to postpone wedding plans. Trips during the day—such as to the mostly mystified doctors—required hats and mummy-like swaths covering her face and body. Working gingerly with the array of metaphors that emerge from darkness and offering small, telling details, Lyndsey achieves a powerful assertion of self against the eclipse of all that she used to hold dear in the realm of light. Her work is especially gripping because there is no cure for or reversal to her condition.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        December 15, 2014
        A former British civil servant's debut memoir about learning to live with a rare light-sensitivity disorder that forces her to spend months living in complete darkness.Though Lyndsey sometimes questioned her job at the Department of Work and Pensions in London, she loved what she did and the security her position offered. But in April 2005, she made a disturbing discovery. Whenever she sat in front of her computer screen, the skin on her face burned "like the worst kind of sunburn." At first, she suspected sensitivity to artificial and especially fluorescent lights. By June, however, Lyndsey's condition had deteriorated to the point where she could no longer tolerate light of any kind, including sunlight. Forced to abandon her job, she moved into her boyfriend (and later husband) Pete's house. There, she spent her days dressed head to toe in light-impermeable clothes in a room that blacked out all traces of sunshine. Her only companions were audiobooks and complex word games, both of which she used to keep herself from sliding further into despair. Realizing that her condition was medically untreatable and likely permanent, she began reaching out telephonically to others who she discovered had similar conditions. These friends became conduits through which she received "massive transfusions of life." Over time, she found that she would experience brief periods when "the muttering in [her] skin" ceased and she could go outside at dawn and dusk with a photographic light meter to help her measure how much light she could withstand. As much as the book is about coping with a life-altering condition, it is also a quiet love story that celebrates a relationship that not only withstood the ups and downs of Lyndsey's medical struggles, but also deepened in the process. A unique and haunting story.

        COPYRIGHT(2014) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        October 15, 2014

        A hit at the London Book Fair, the pseudonymous Lyndsey's reportedly beautifully written memoir explains what it has been like to develop such a sensitivity to light that she has had to spend months in a blacked-out room with audiobooks her only companions.

        Copyright 2014 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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shortDescription
Haunting, lyrical, unforgettable, Girl in the Dark is a brave new memoir of a life without light.

     Anna Lyndsey was young and ambitious and worked hard; she had just bought an apartment; she was falling in love. Then what started as a mild intolerance to certain kinds of artificial light developed into a severe sensitivity to all light. 
     Now, at the worst times, Anna is forced to spend months on end in a blacked-out room, where she loses herself in audiobooks and elaborate word games in an attempt to ward off despair. During periods of relative remission, she can venture out cautiously at dawn and dusk into a world that, from the perspective of her cloistered existence, is filled with remarkable beauty. And through it all there is Pete, her love and her rock, without whom her loneliness seems...
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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group