Initially published in 1984, Dermot Healy’s stunning first novel, Fighting with Shadows, returns to print after almost thirty years. Largely set in the border village of Fanacross, Co. Fermanagh, as Ireland stumbles clumsily toward modernity, the Allen family negotiate a bitter and troubled terrain. Fighting with Shadows offers extraordinary and poetic glimpses of the compelling lives of ordinary people. The novel’s landscape is of borderlands, of in-between spaces; it tells of violently sundered geographical borders, of maddening religious differences, of the anguished gaps between people as they struggle to find each other, and of how the dead reside among its inhabitants long after they’ve passed. A realist account and nightmarish fable, Fighting with Shadows is critical to the history of modern Irish fiction.
This new edition of Fighting with Shadows is part of a multi-volume sequence published by Dalkey Archive Press and edited by Neil Murphy and Keith Hopper. It also includes Dermot Healy: The Collected Short Stories (2015), Dermot Healy: Collected Plays (2016), and Dermot Healy: Writing the Sky—Critical Essays and Observations (2016).
Dermot Healy (1947-2014) was born in Finea, Co. Westmeath and founded and edited the literary journals The Drumlin and Force 10.