Kevin Hart Dark-Land

Saturday, June 22 from 4:00pm to 5:00pm

Join us as we celebrate the release of Kevin Hart’s new memoir, Dark-Land.

Join us as we celebrate the release of Kevin Hart’s new memoir, Dark-Land: Memoir of a Secret Childhood. This in-person event will be free and open to the public. We recommend arriving early for the best seating.

About the Book: Dark-Land is Kevin Hart’s searing, yet at times hilarious, narrative of his first thirteen years. It is a story of survival and transformation, of deception and recovery, and it passes from a frightening childhood in the East-End of London to a new and bewildering life in subtropical Australia. Throughout, Hart draws on John Bunyan’s evocation of “Dark-Land” in Pilgrim’s Progress, the place Valiant-for-Truth leaves in order to seek the Celestial City. But Dark-Land is no allegory. We see Hart’s hidden inner life, his family’s penchant for keeping secrets, and their illusions about the nature of their shared past. We see Hart grow from being the despair of his teachers in a rough primary school to experiencing a “conversion” in a math class in Brisbane, Australia, which turned him into a Christian, a poet, and an academic.

Written in elegant, lucid prose, without a trace of sentimentality, Dark-Land is a memoir of a working-class childhood, a narrative of a migrant, and the story of a convert to Christianity.

About the Author: Kevin Hart has taught for many years in English, French, and religious studies at the University of Virginia and is now Jo Rae Wright University Professor Elect in the School of Divinity at Duke University. His most recent books are Lands of Likeness: For a Poetics of Contemplation (Chicago UP, 2023), which represents his Gifford Lectures at Glasgow University 2019–23, and Contemplation: The Movements of the Soul (Columbia UP, 2024). Many of his poems are gathered in Wild Track: New and Selected Poems (Notre Dame UP, 2015) and Barefoot (Notre Dame UP, 2018). He is currently completing three new collections of poetry: Carnet Beaune, Lone Pilgrim, and Jukebox.

Dark-Land will be released on June 11. To order the book, please see below for the New Dominion Bookshop book order form or call the shop at 434-295-2552.

"In Dark-Land, Kevin Hart has crafted a personal narrative of searing beauty, a portrait of an extinct place and time and one boy’s roiling development within it. This is not only a poet’s Proustian grasping after memory, but a melodic assertion of selfhood and how that selfhood is forged within the contradictions of family and the pronouncements of faith. Put this beautiful book on your shelf between Frank Conroy’s Stop-Time and Tobias Wolff’s This Boy’s Life."

—William Giraldi

New Dominion Bookshop Book Order Form

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Kevin Hart Photo Credit: Sashanna Hart