By John Burnside

ISBN-10: 1409017095

ISBN-13: 9781409017097

A relocating, unforgettable memoir of 2 misplaced males: a father and his child.

He had his ultimate center assault within the Silver Band membership in Corby, someplace among the bar and the cigarette laptop. A foundling; a fantasist; a morose, threatening drinker who used to be fast together with his arms, he hadn't obvious his son for years. John Burnside's notable tale of this failed courting is a superbly written evocation of a misplaced and broken international of early life and the constants of his father's international: males outlined by way of the drink they can take and the discomfort they can stand, males formed by means of their guilt and machismo.

A Lie approximately My Father is set forgiving yet now not forgetting, approximately analyzing the way in which males are made and the way they crumble, approximately realizing that during order to have an excellent son you want to have a very good father.

Saltire Scottish e-book of the yr and the Scottish Arts Council Non-Fiction booklet of the Year.

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Sample text

Tom Brown had suffered awful indignities but finally had a gratifying retribution against Flashman. According to Enid Blyton, some of the posh kids were so fucking cool they didn’t even go to school, they just farted about riding their bikes and solving mysteries. From very early on, possibly my first day, I wanted out. It seemed to me that school involved too much physical abuse. Better to be in the workplace, where at worst your boss could only fire you. I had no idea what profession I would ultimately end up in, though I do remember having the vague notion that famous people didn’t have to go to the dentist.

So they did the best they could for their family, though it left little time for emotional connection. It was as if too many outward displays of affection were a luxury better suited to the rich, or the English. Add to that the influence, even though it was only minor in my home, of sterile Scottish Presbyterianism (which I can only describe as Catholicism without the elaborate visuals) and you are left with a certain aridity. The first openly romantic moment that I witnessed between my parents—that’s not to say they didn’t have them, they had four kids, after all—happened just before my father’s death.

A frail old woman in a quilted housecoat answered and seemed only slightly alarmed to find a lanky, wet beatnik in Coke-bottle glasses standing on her doorstep with an uneasy portly midget in tow. She directed me to her bathroom, which I remember was a symphony in pink. Lots of tchotchkes and pictures and little framed needlepoint mottoes on the wall. Souvenirs from Scottish seaside towns and lace curtains. A little dolly bagpiper in a clear plastic tube. It didn’t look like a bathroom, it looked like a shrine.

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A Lie About My Father by John Burnside


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