Hidden Symptoms

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More About This Book

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
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)
Library Journal
Madden evokes life in modern Belfast through her three characters. Kathy and Theresa are university students; Robert, Kathy's lover, is a journalist. He is an atheist, they are Catholic. Theresa is an intellectual, an activist in spirit, but nearly destroyed by the brutal murder of her beloved twin brother. Robert cares nothing for politics or religion, and in his denial isolates his soul till it is almost incapable even of remembering feeling. Kathy, between these extremes, tries to establish relationships, but finds barriers everywhere. The tensions and frustrations of their lives, reflections of the city, permeate every event, every contact. Madden's skill as a short story writer is clear in the economy of her novel: every character is sharp, the atmosphere pervasive. This is not a panorma, but a focused glimpse, as through a surgeon's eye, of a terrible malignancy. Ann Donovan, Central Washington Univ. Lib., Ellensburg
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780871130655
  • Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/1/1987
  • Edition description: 1st American ed
  • Pages: 142

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