Greek gods

The extraordinary – and haunting – life of Lafcadio Hearn

It’s a convoluted title for a book, but then Lafcadio Hearn – a widely travelled author and journalist who earned his greatest fame as an interpreter of Japanese horror stories – led a convoluted life. Born in 1850 from a difficult marriage between an Irish officer-surgeon and a wildly unpredictable noble-blooded Greek woman (his middle name, Lafcadio, was adopted from Lefkada, the name of the island where he was born), he was quickly abandoned by both. His mother ended her life in an asylum; his father remarried and died young of malaria. Hearn went on to be yet again abandoned by the great-aunt who raised him, and spurned by the