Fear of Drowning. "In Sunshine or in Shadow", by Martin Flanagan. [review]
In this ‘memoir about going home’, home is where the heart is. The book’s principal locale is the Tasmania of Martin Flanagan’s Irish Catholic small-town childhood. But ‘home’, in this narrative, isn’t just a place: it’s a state of the self. It’s what one gets back to when life’s useless accretions, confusions and hesitations are peeled away, leaving a self that is pristine — attuned to its true origins, its deepest intimations about the world, and to the values that the unadulterated self lives by. Flanagan’s journey is a quest for the authentic self. A ‘romantic’, he wants to embrace the ‘wild green joy of living’ — a phrase that typifies the passionate intensity of his search.