Winner of the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature - Named a Best Book of 2022 by Kirkus, Booklist, and Shelf Awareness - Named a Best Book of July by Buzzfeed - A Publishers Weekly Best Nonfiction 2022 Summer Read - Observer Book of the Week - Lammy Finalist
"The most beautiful prose I've read in years."--Alexander Chee, The Atlantic
- "Rapturous...Hewitt beautifully illuminates his own darknesses so that we might also see our own."--Melissa Febos, The New York Times Book Review - "Exquisitely written."--Claire Messud, Harper's Magazine
When Seán Hewitt meets Elias, the two fall headlong into a love story. But as Elias struggles with severe mental illness, they soon come face-to-face with crisis. All Down Darkness Wide
is a perceptive and unflinching meditation on the burden of living in a world that too often sets happiness and queer life at odds, and a tender and honest portrayal of what it's like to be caught in the undertow of a loved one's deep depression. As lives are made and unmade, this memoir asks what love can endure and what it cannot.
Delving into his own history, enlisting the ghosts of queer figures before him, Hewitt plumbs the darkness in search of answers. From a nineteenth-century cemetery in Liverpool to a sacred grotto in the Pyrenees, it is a journey of lonely discovery followed by the light of community. Haunted by the rites of Catholicism and spectres of shame, it is nevertheless marked by an insistent search for beauty.
Hewitt captures transcendent moments in nature with exquisite lyricism, honours the power of reciprocated desire and provides a master class in the incredible force of unsparing specificity. All Down Darkness Wide
illuminates a path ahead for queer literature and for the literature of heartbreak, striking a piercing and resonant chord for all who trace Hewitt's dauntless footsteps.
About the Author
Seán Hewitt was born in 1990. He is the author of J. M. Synge: Nature, Politics, Modernism and the poetry collection Tongues of Fire, which was awarded the Laurel Prize and was shortlisted for the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award, the John Pollard Foundation International Poetry Prize and a Dalkey Literary Award. He was awarded the 2022 Rooney Prize for Irish Literature is the recipient of a Northern Writers' Award, the Resurgence Prize and an Eric Gregory Award. Hewitt is a book critic for the Irish Times and teaches modern British and Irish literature at Trinity College Dublin.