Liberties Press has recently released The Lighthouse Keeper, the new novel from Tyrone author Francis Hagan.
A graduate of three universities, two in the north of Ireland and one in the south, Hagan has had poetry and literary criticism published, as well as fiction. He currently teaches English in one of Northern Ireland’s pioneering integrated colleges. The Lighthouse Keeper follows Hagan’s first novel, The Auditor (Lagan Press, 2010), which was widely praised on its release.
It is winter, just before Christmas. On the cliffs above the transit town of Port Hiver, stands a decommissioned lighthouse. Inside, a man who calls himself Peter Boniface, ponders the falling snow and his imminent retirement. Boniface, a psychotherapist, is plucked by the arrival of an unexpected visitor out of his reverie and into the most hazardous case of his career. His visitor is Bones, a former paramilitary, seeking, he says, ‘to make a good death’. The Lighthouse Keeper, in the form of a case history, is an account of this encounter, the outcome of which will determine everything about the remaining lives of both men.
Nothing less than an examination of the conflicting values underpinning Irish culture, the novel traces the intersecting worlds of its two protagonists, extending in significance far beyond the confines of Boniface’s consulting room.
Culture Northern Ireland described the book as “an original and deft novel… Hagan is a wise and hugely talented writer who straddles genres and moods without ever losing his balance. There is no one else writing fiction in Northern Ireland today quite like him.” The novel, which receives a successful launch in Waterstones Belfast last year, is available to order online from Liberties Press, priced €14.99.