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Extended Audio Sample Girl in the Dark: A Memoir Audiobook, by Anna Lyndsey Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Anna Lyndsey Narrator: Hannah Curtis Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2015 ISBN: 9781101890011
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In this gorgeous memoir of an unthinkable life, a young woman writes of the sensitivity to light that has forced her to live in darkness—and of the love that has saved her.

“Something is afoot within me that I do not understand, the breaking of a contract that I thought could not be broken, a slow perverting of my substance.”

Anna was living a normal life. She was ambitious and worked hard, she had just bought an apartment, and she was falling in love. But then she started to develop worrying symptoms: her face felt like it was burning whenever she was in front of the computer. Soon this progressed to an intolerance of fluorescent light, then of sunlight itself. The reaction soon spread to her entire body. Now, when her symptoms are at their worst, she must spend months on end in a blacked-out room, losing herself in audiobooks and elaborate word games in an attempt to ward off despair. During periods of relative remission she can venture cautiously out at dawn and dusk into a world that, from the perspective of her normally cloistered existence, is filled with remarkable beauty.

Then there is her relationship with Pete. In many ways he is Anna’s savior, offering her shelter from the light in his home. But she cannot enjoy a normal life with him, she cannot go out during the day, and even making love is uniquely awkward. Anna asks herself: By continuing to occupy this lovely man while giving him neither children nor a public companion nor a welcoming home—do I do wrong?

With gorgeous, lyrical prose, Anna brings us into the dark with her, a place from which we emerge to see love—and the world—anew.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • Absolutely stunning ... A gorgeous writer of rare honesty and wit. Boston Globe
  • 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. The New York Times Book Review
  • 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. Minneapolis Star Tribune
  • [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. The Guardian
     
  • 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. Daily Mail
  • 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. Publishers Weekly
  • 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
  • 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. Christa Parravani, author of Her
  • 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. Susannah Cahalan, author of the New York Times-bestselling Brain on Fire
  • “[With] melodic, penetrating prose…its paragraphs reveal 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.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “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.”

    Minneapolis Star Tribune

  • “In this deeply affecting work…Lyndsey moves the reader with her wry, intimately detailed narrative…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.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “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.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Hannah Curtis narrates the author’s story of the progressive light sensitivity that banished her to a blacked-out room for long periods of time. Lyndsey goes into great detail about what audiobooks mean to her in her dark room, making listening a poignant experience. Curtis is a strong narrator whose mixture of emotion and careful detachment is able to make the listener believe that it is her own story she’s telling. It’s a powerful performance. Many books are improved by listening if the performance is excellent, but there are few that convey a greater understanding of the subject matter through listening than reading. Girl in the Dark is one of these.”

    AudioFile

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About the Author
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.
About the Narrator

Hannah Curtis is an actress known for her appearances in The Shadow, Hollyoaks, and The Heavy. She graduated from Elmhurst School of Performing Arts and is involved with organizations such as the Actors Center in London and the Howard Fine Acting Studio in Los Angeles.