For Theresa and her student friends, Belfast can seem an urban nightmare - a city where violence can erupt at any moment, where secrecy and bitterness are nursed behind closed doors, and where Theresa's twin brother, Francis, has been murdered, Deirdre Madden carefully and movingly reveals the crisis of faith that confronts Theresa when her devout ...
For Theresa and her student friends, Belfast can seem an urban nightmare - a city where violence can erupt at any moment, where secrecy and bitterness are nursed behind closed doors, and where Theresa's twin brother, Francis, has been murdered, Deirdre Madden carefully and movingly reveals the crisis of faith that confronts Theresa when her devout Catholicism provides no explanation for the tragedy. Hidden Symptoms was originally published in Faber's First Fictions anthology where it was highly praised and was awarded the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature in 1987.
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Publishers Weekly, 1986-11-28 In this brief but powerful evocation of death and loss, Madden, whose short stories have won Irish literary awards, opens another window on the terrible landscape of Northern Ireland. Within the angular body and couched in the defensive speech of Theresa, a Roman Catholic university student whose twin brother has been murdered by terrorists, are the symptoms of the larger turmoil in Belfast. At war with herself, her religion and her would-be comforters, Theresa struggles with the problem of love: love of God, love of her brother, of her uncomprehending mother. For her, love, not hate, is the problem. Others in her small circle of university colleagues experience the city in varying but equally comfortless ways. The beaten-down feelings of young Irish intellectuals whose faith is sorely tested, or lost completely, are eloquently voiced here. (January 28)
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