Benfry, Christopher (9 November 2012).Doubling Back. New York Times
How I Write: John Banville on Ancient Light, Nabokov, and Dublin. Daily Beast
Forbes, Malcolm.FICTION: Ancient Light, by John Banville. Star Tribune
is a 2012 novel byIrishwriterJohn Banville.First published on 7 July 2012, the novel concludes a trilogy concerning Alexander Cleave and his daughter, Cass.
Critical reception forAncient Lighthas been mostly positive,with a reviewer forThe Independentcalling it a luminous, breathtaking work.Critics forThe Guardianalso reviewedAncient Light, with Tim Adams praising Banvilles themes and cleverness while Alex Clark wrote that the dual narrative was disorienting.The Telegraphgave the book three out of five stars, writing that it is notably, though for the most part seamlessly, light-fingered strings of Yeses from Ulysses, bits of Eliot, a hazel wood from Yeats, a lovely quote from Leopardi.The Harvard Crimsonpanned the novel, saying that [t]he major weakness of Ancient Light, however, lies is not in its moments of gimmickry but in its vagueness.
Acocella, Joan.DOUBLING DOWN. New Yorker
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Prague Pictures: Portrait of a City
Ancient Lightis narrated by Alexander Cleave, a 60-something year-old retired actor, and takes place 10 years after the death of his daughter Cass inEclipse. Cleave begins to record his memories of a first, unlikely affair he had at age 15 with Mrs Gray, a married woman 20 years his senior. Billy Gray was my best friend and I fell in love with his mother.The book moves between memories of this affair and his current state of grief he shares with his wife Lydia, touching on themes of family, love, grief, and the reliability of memory. His solitude is interrupted by an offer to play the lead in a film entitledThe Invention of the Past. The film is to be based on the life of literary theorist Axel Vander, the man with Cass when she killed herself in Italy. On the set Cleave bonds with Dawn Devonport, an emotionally fragile young ingenue mourning the death of her father. As Cleave continues to narrate his past relationship with Mrs Gray to its inevitable conclusion, the father-daughter relationship grows between him and Dawn.
Sanai, Leyla (8 July 2012).Ancient Light, By John Banville.
Boland, Rosita (23 November 2012).Banville wins novel of year at awards.
See guidelines for writing about novels. Further suggestions might be found on the articlestalk page.
Clark, Alex (22 June 2012).Ancient Light by John Banville review.
Adams, Tim (24 June 2012).Ancient Light by John Banville review.
Miller, Keith (17 July 2012).Ancient Light by John Banville: review.
Ancient Lightwon theIrish Book Awardsin the Novel category (2012).Colm Tibnnamed it one of his books of the year.
Ancient Light Ultimately Unilluminating. Harvard Crimson
The cover photograph of a man and a woman dancing in a kitchen was taken byElliott Erwittand is titled Spain, Valencia, 1952, Robert and Mary Frank.The photo was also used as the book cover forThe Marriage ArtistbyAndrew Winer(2010, Henry Holt & Company), and for the albumThe Ragpickers DreambyMark Knopfler.
Different Book, Same Cover: Andrew Winers The Marriage Artist.