In Darkness by Nick Lake
  

In Darkness

Written by Nick Lake

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Shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2013

January 2013 Debut of the Month Survival is at the heart of the criss-crossing stories in this powerful time slip novel set in Haiti. Shorty, fifteen and living in desperate poverty in Site Solay, is trapped in rubble after the collapse of everything he knows in the Haitian earthquake. Dreaming and hallucinating as hunger and thirst take a grip, Shorty relives his own life and also travels back to a previous violent period in Haitian history when Toussaint l’Ouverture, the visionary real slave turned revolutionary led a revolt against the French occupying forces gaining control and freedom for the Haitians. Both stories are stirring and Nick Lake keeps the tension taut while also allowing his characters enough room to be convincing and moving.

Synopsis

In Darkness by Nick Lake

In darkness, I count my blessings like Manman taught me. One: I am alive. Two: there is no two. In the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake, a boy is trapped beneath the rubble of a ruined hospital, thirsty, terrified and alone. Shorty is a child of the slums, a teenage boy who has seen enough violence to last a lifetime, and who has been inexorably drawn into the world of the gangsters who rule Site Soley; men who dole out money with one hand and death with the other. But Shorty has a secret: a flame of revenge that blazes inside him and a burning wish to find the twin sister he lost seven years ago ...

Reviews

A vivid and unforgettable voice ... incredibly moving The Times

Gripping ... beautifully subtle New York Times Both violent and subtle, unexpectedly reminding me of The Wire. Characters, settings, and the half-believed Haitian vodou religion are handled with patience and complexity ... A serious, nuanced, challenging novel. Trust me, there are plenty of young readers who hunger for exactly that Patrick Ness, Guardian

About the Author

Nick Lake

Nick Lake lives near Oxford with his wife and family. He works in publishing by day and writes books in every spare moment he can find. His powerful and moving novel In Darkness, about the Haitian earthquake, won the 2013 Michael L. Printz Award and was shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal. His second novel for Bloombury, Hostage Three, also received great acclaim.

Nick Lake Q&A:

Previous occupations:

Being a book editor. No one told me at school that there was a job where you got paid for being a fan of writers and writing.

High school and/or college:

I went to High School in Luxembourg, and I went to Oxford University after that for a degree and then a fairly pointless masters. In phonetics, of all things.

Name of your favourite composer or music artist?

I usually lie and go for something clever like Vertigo. But really it's True Romance.

I would use the word "busy" eight times.

What is your motto or maxim?
To paraphrase the existentialists - life is what you make it. Which amounts to a practical kind of karma, I suppose.

How would you describe perfect happiness?
A fire, a good chair and a new Stephen King book. Or the moment the soundchecks finish and the band take to the stage. Or sunset on the mountains, with weary feet, and the lights of a pub ahead. Or the sound of a breakbeat. Or a very sweet tea, anywhere in the Middle East, at any time of day.

What’s your greatest fear?
Not being good.

Which living person do you most admire?
Haruki Murakami. Stephen King. Anyone who works for Medecins sans Frontieres or Amnesty International.

What are your most overused words or phrases?
"Apparently".

If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
The abillity to play a musical instrument well. Also, the ability to speak all languages fluently.

What is your greatest achievement?
Meeting my wife.

If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?
I wouldn't mind being Simon Cowell. I could make The X-Factor go away. Not to mention R&B flavoured pop music.

What trait is most noticeable about you?
I have no idea. My hair? It's usually quite big, because I keep forgetting to have it cut. I look like the freakish son of Tom Hanks and David Hasselhoff.

Who is your favourite fictional hero?
Sally Lockhart.

Who is your favourite fictional villain?
Steerpike. (Also hero.)

If you could meet any historical character, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?
I'd like to meet Shakespeare and I'd ask him how to write better.

What is your favourite occupation, when you’re not writing?
Reading? Actually probably sleeping, to be honest.

What’s your fantasy profession?
Bestselling and universally admired author.

What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?
Compassion. Empathy. Humour.

If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?
Chocolate, in any form.

What are your 5 favourite songs?

On Books and Writing:

Who are your favourite authors?
Haruki Murakami. Stephen King. Neil Gaiman. Margaret Atwood. Joan Didion. Ismail Kadare. Philip Reeve. Philip Pullman. Meg Rosoff.

What are your 5 favourite books of all time?

Tough one. I guess... Middlemarch; Coraline; For Whom the Bell Tolls; the collected works of Shakespeare... and Little, Big, by John Crowley - the single most unfairly overlooked, beautiful, miraculous and magical book I know.

Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?
I wouldn't presume to think of myself as someone anyone might look to for advice! But I suppose I'd tell them to read as much as possible, in as many genres as possible.

What comment do you hear most often from your readers?
"You're very... imaginative aren't you." I think they mean I'm strange.

Nick Lake introduces There Will Be Lies: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHahGI6t5Qk

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Book Info

Format

Paperback
352 pages
Interest Age: From 12

Author

Nick Lake
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Author's Website

www.in-darkness.org/

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Publisher

Bloomsbury Publishing PLC

Publication date

3rd January 2013

ISBN

9781408819951


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