It’s Not Yet Dark
In 2008, Simon Fitzmaurice was diagnosed with ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. He was given four years to live. In 2010, in a state of lung-function collapse, Simon knew with crystal clarity that now was not his time to die. Against all prevailing medical opinion, he chose to ventilate in order to stay alive.
In It’s Not Yet Dark, the young filmmaker, a husband and father of five small children, draws us deeply into his inner world. Told in simply expressed and beautifully stark prose, it is an astonishing journey into a life that, though brutally compromised, is lived more fully than most, revealing at its core the potent power love has to carry us through the days.
Written using an eye-gaze computer, It's Not Yet Dark is an unforgettable book about relationships and family, about what connects and separates us as people, and, ultimately, about what it means to be alive.
This is the first time that I have heard the name Simon Fitzmaurice. Although, after finishing this book, I can guarantee you that it will not be the last time. In fact, I am more intrigued now to check out Mr. Fitzmaurice's film and other work.
What I loved the best about this book is the simplicity of it. Sometimes simple is best. It is even better when it is done right. Mr. Fitzmaurice's wife, Ruth is an angel. I don't know her but I feel like I have a good idea of what a kind hearted person she is from this book.
Mr. Fitzmaurice gave me a good insight into ALS. Additionally, he showed that you don't have to be a victim to the disease. You can be a fighter and live your life. For example, Mr. Fitzmaurice may no longer have the function of his hands but he was able to still write this book using an eye gaze computer. Mr. Fitzmaurice is a good spokesperson for ALS.
There is an passage in the book that I really liked:
"Tell me your secrets. In the deepest depths of night, whisper them to me. Tell me your desires, if you can. Tell me your fears. Tell me what you like to eat. And how you like to eat it. Tell me details, as if you're half awake, half asleep. We are humans. I'm listening. Tell me with your body. Tell me with your mouth. Tell me something I can keep. Without thinking, tell me something in the shape of you. Your skin prickles in the breeze tell me, I'm obsessed with you."
About the Author
SIMON FITZMAURICE is an award-winning writer and film director. His debut memoir, It's Not Yet Dark, was a #1 bestseller upon its release in Ireland, has been nominated for the Bord Gáis Book of the Year Award, and was ranked #2 in Liveline's Writer's Book of the Year. His films have screened at film festivals all over the world and won prizes, including Best Short Film at the Cork Film Festival and the Belfast Film Festival (twice); the Grand Jury Prize at the Opalcine Film Festival, Paris; the Jimmy Stewart Memorial Award at the Heartland Film Festival; and Jury Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival. His short film The Sound of People was selected to screen at the Sundance Film Festival. Simon holds honors master's degrees in both Anglo-Irish literature and drama, and film theory and production. His short fiction has been short-listed for the Hennessy Literary Award, and his poetry has appeared in the quarterly publication West 47. His first feature film, My Name Is Emily, was just released in both the UK and the United States. He lives in Greystones, Ireland, with his wife, Ruth; their five children, Jack, Raife, Arden, Sadie, and Hunter; and their basset hound, Pappy.
Excerpt from IT’S NOT YET DARK: A Memoir by Simon Fitzmaurice.
Copyright ©2014 by Simon Fitzmaurice. Used by permission of Houghton
Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.