The Measure of Darkness--Liam Durcan's new novel from Bellevue Literary Press

Encompass[es] many great issues—neglect of family relationships, aging, compassion, reconciliation, vision, aesthetics, even the stifled career of a Soviet architect—but most of all, [The Measure of Darkness is] a meditation on the limits of personal power. Slowly, quietly, inexorably, Durcan makes clear just how profound those limits are and that they are imposed both from within and without.
— Best New Fiction
A deft exploration of the heart and mind that offers the pathos of a Sam Shepard play nested within the unreliable storytelling of Christopher Nolan’s Memento.
— Kirkus Reviews
Durcan is masterly in portraying hemispatial brain injury from a patient’s perspective... He skillfully navigates us through the inner space of Martin’s brain, as well as through actual architectural spaces. ...It’s a pleasure to read this sophisticated novel and mull its scalpel-sharp perceptions about what causes us to make the life decisions we do.
— Toronto Star
Beautifully written
— Library Journal (Starred Review)
The Measure of Darkness strives to be more than an examination of what it is to have one’s ambition thwarted, and ultimately succeeds on many levels in its characterization of what it is like to not just understand, but to actually experience that subjectivity—that reality itself, is determined by nothing more than the tenuous and delicate physical tissues of one’s brain.
— Ploughshares
An intriguing and layered medical mystery.
— Quill and Quire
The Measure of Darkness seems, at first, to be about the mysterious odyssey and follies of a man with a rare neurological syndrome in which the victim cannot perceive half of the world, and worse, doesn’t know that he can’t perceive it. Yet, as Liam Durcan’s acutely observed, powerfully poetic prose—which can be sensitive or steely—builds to a gut-wrenching finale, we realize that this man is a metaphor for each of us and we are all haunted by the things we don’t know we don’t know.
— Norman Doidge, author of The Brain that Changes Itself andThe Brain's Way of Healing
What most sets The Measure of Darkness apart in the end is its evocation of Martin’s experience of neglect. Feeling his confusion and sharing the frustration of those around him, we get as far inside the head of a sufferer as it may be possible to get. If the science is woven into the story with a rare fluency it could be because as a working scientist, Durcan is uniquely placed to apply his own knowledge and curiosity.
— Montreal Gazette
With his sophomore novel...Durcan shows his mastery of metaphor. He plays with elements of light, angles and reflection as his protagonist, a former architect, attempts to reconstruct the fragments of his life following a devastating brain injury.
— Winnipeg Free Press