This searingly intimate literary debut from top Irish art critic Cristín Leach weaves words and art with an unravelling of self that comes when a marriage breaks. In a multi-layered and incisive narrative, Leach writes about the gaps between reality and perception, about writing and anxiety, body and brain, breaking and making, succeeding and failing, conventionality and independence.
The non-linear structure of Negative Space, with repeats, retakes, and details deliberately left unsaid, mimics the gaps in memory and understanding that are part of the human condition, especially during times of great stress. It’s about art and writing as a fundamental way of explaining and understanding the world, perhaps saying what cannot be said, or revealing without showing.
Negative Space is a memoir about writing and of art as a salve and a means of escape, marriage as a refuge and a trap, the nature of home, and what happens when everything falls apart.
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