In a Dark Wood  
Amanda Craig    
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Amanda Craig's In A Dark Wood is the story of Benedick Hunter, a failed actor and failing single father who leaves his home in London to travel to the United States with his young son Cosmo in hope of learning more about his own American mother, Laura, who had committed suicide when he was six. His memory of her vague but he has recently found a notebook written and illustrated by her. It is an enigmatic book of fairytales which Benedick is now convinced holds the key to her death and to the heart of his own nature. After a frenzied tour of New York, which included a wild buying spree with his son, he and Cosmo make their way to the matriarchal homestead in South Carolina.

In A Dark Wood is a novel about fatherhood and -- it is gradually revealed -- manic depression set largely in the Deep South. Amanda Craig is not a father, not manic depressive, and not American. In this issue of Bold Type she addresses the issue of writing outside of identity, particularly outside of gender, and all the uncomfortable misunderstandings -- biologically, sexually, emotionally, and otherwise -- in her essay "Sex Swap."

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  Photo credit: Charlie Hopkinson

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