Darker With the Lights On

Darker With the Lights On


David Hayden

Driven hypnotically forward by a powerful, deeply felt narrative force, the stories in this debut collection pull off that rare trick of captivating the reader, while twisting the form into truly new shapes. With an imagist’s flair for photographic observation and unsettling, often startling, emotional landscapes, Darker With the Lights On introduces a mesmeric new literary talent with seismic potential.

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"The surreal and the mundane coincide brilliantly in Hayden’s inventive debut collection."—Publishers Weekly

"Here are stories to read again and again. Here is language to live in. David Hayden is a serious force.”—Sam Lipsyte, author of The Fun Parts

"It’s an open secret that David Hayden is one of the most interesting short story writers around. Why it’s taken this long for his first collection to be published is beyond me but I, along with anyone with even the vaguest interest in looking at modernism anew, will be queuing up for a copy."—Eimear McBride, author of A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing

"Once in a blue moon, a book comes along that really is like nothing you’ve ever read before. The 20 stories in this debut collection from David Hayden are strange, uncomfortable fables of memory, metamorphosis, time, disassociation and death: hard to fathom, but impossible to ignore; twisty and riddling, yet with a blunt impact that reverberates long after the final page."—The Guardian

“Hayden's hypnotic combination of oneiric situations with pinpoint language conjures Calvino or Barthleme. His stories are airborne elephants: their lightness of touch belies their emotional weight.”—Joanna Walsh, author of Vertigo

“Handle this book with care. Goodness knows where its visions end.”—Claire-Louise Bennett, author of Pond

"Quietly innovative, subtle of tone, full of feeling—this is a superb debut"—Kevin Barry

"One of the most startlingly brilliant and original debuts I've ever read. Hayden is one hell of a talent."—David Collard


First Published: May 15, 2018
5.25 x 8 | 224 pages
Rights: NA
978-1-945492-11-2 (paperback)
978-1-945492-13-6  (ebook)