All Down Darkness Wide Book (Paperback)
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RELEASE DATE - 31 AUGUST 2023
A luminous and haunting memoir from the prize-winning poet - a story of love, heartbreak and coming of age, and a fearless exploration of queer identity and trauma.
When Seán meets Elias, the two fall headlong into a love story. But as Elias struggles with severe depression, the couple comes face-to-face with crisis. Wrestling with this, Seán Hewitt delves deep into his own history, enlisting the ghosts of queer figures and poets before him. From a nineteenth-century cemetery in Liverpool to the pine forests of Gothenburg, Hewitt plumbs the darkness in search of solace and hope.
All Down Darkness Wide is an unflinching meditation on the burden of living in a world that too often sets happiness and queer life at odds, and a tender portrayal of what it's like to be caught in the undertow of a loved one's suffering. By turns devastating and soaring, it is a mesmerising story of heartache and renewal, and a work of rare and transcendent beauty.
"Hewitt's book is excellent... It makes one hope this is the beginning of a wonderful trend of men writing about love with the same intense vulnerability that women have for decades now... [Hewitt] shows himself to be one of our foremost memoirists... A stunning meditation on love and heartbreak, this feels like an essential work of the new Irish queer canon. Let us hope it is but a first volume, the beginning of a vast work."
"Rapturous... even his depictions of cruising have a holy aura. As a dedicated nonfiction writer, I sometimes meet poets' memoirs with a caginess that is utterly disgraced by a book like this, whose structure is nearly as immaculate as its sentences... Writing is always an act of translation, and Hewitt beautifully illuminates his own darknesses so that we might also see our own."
Melissa Febos ― New York Times
"[An] extraordinary memoir... All Down Darkness Wide is not about answers. It does not offer glib consolations and is all the more powerful and affecting for that."
"Some of the most beautiful prose I've read in years... intensely original."
Alexander Chee - The Atlantic