Girl in the Dark
"An astonishing memoir" Sonali Deraniyagala, author of Wave BOOK OF THE WEEK ON BBC RADIO 4 'Oh, what can I not do, in my dreams. In my dreams I travel on trains and climb mountains, I play concerts and swim rivers, I carry important documents on vital missions, I attend meetings which become song-and-dance routines. My body lies boxed in darkness, but beneath my closed eyelids there is colour, sound and movement, in glorious contrast to the day; mad movies projected nightly in the private theatre of my skull.' Anna Lyndsey was living a normal life. She enjoyed her job; she was ambitious; she was falling in love. Then the unthinkable happened. It began with a burning sensation on her face when she was exposed to computer screens and fluorescent lighting. Then the burning spread and the problematic light sources proliferated. Now her extreme sensitivity to light in all forms means she must spend much of her life in total darkness. During the best times, she can venture cautiously outside at dusk and dawn, avoiding high-strength streetlamps. During the worst, she must spend months in a darkened room, listening to audiobooks, inventing word-games and fighting to keep despair at bay. Told with great beauty, humour and honesty, Girl in the Dark is the astonishing and uplifting account of Anna's descent into the depths of her extraordinary illness. It is the story of how, through her determination to make her impossible life possible and with the love of those around her, she has managed to find light in even the darkest of places.
The story of an ordinary woman with an extraordinary illness. The memoir of a life lived in darkness and a passionate love affair with light
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 Sonali Deraniyagala, author of Wave, winner of the PEN/Ackerly Prize and finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award 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, self-excoriating in its honesty and brimming with insight into the human condition and the inner life of a chronically ill person, 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 Susannah Cahalan, author of the New York Times-bestselling Brain on Fire
Anna Lyndsey worked for several years in London as a civil servant until she became ill. She now lives with her husband in Hampshire. Anna is writing under a pen name.