‘The Creaking Door’ by Tom Lee

Following on the theme of sickness, in this extraordinary piece, Tom Lee describes his experience of being in intensive care for fifty-one days, for twenty-two of them in a medically-induced coma. The struggle for life – and his sometimes horribly acute awareness of what was happening to him – is written in clear, unsentimental prose. It’s interesting to note to the effect that this experience had in his later fictions, where this trauma turns up in unexpected ways in the characters and subjects of his stories and his widely acclaimed first novel The Alarming Palsy of James Orr.

First published in The Dublin Review 51, 2013, and available to read online here