Fathers and Sons

3.57 based on 12 ratings & 5 reviews on Goodreads.com

Publication date: 09.02.2017
ISBN: 9781509812165
Number of pages: 224


Was he thinking, do I have to be this kind of boy to survive? Is this what being a boy is?

As a boy growing up on the south coast of England, Howard Cunnell's sense of self was dominated by his father's absence. Now, years later, he is a father, and his daughter is becoming his son.

Starting with his own childhood in the Sussex beachlands, Howard tells the story of the years of self-destruction that defined his young adulthood and the escape he found in reading and the natural world. Still he felt compelled to destroy the relationships that mattered to him.

Saved by love and responsibility, Cunnell charts his journey from anger to compassion, as his daughter Jay realizes he is a boy, and a son.

Most of all, this is a story about love - its necessity and fragility, and its unequalled capacity to enable us to be who we are.

Deeply thoughtful, searingly honest and exquisitely lyrical, Fathers & Sons is an exploration of fatherhood, masculinity, authenticity and family.

In the media

This tender yet hard-boiled memoir is a searing exploration of parenting and gender-creation…Cunnell deserves the accolades he will receive for his book’s painterly, masculine honesty
Socialist Review
It is one of the most good-hearted, big-souled books I’ve read, a memoir about what it means to be a man, but more importantly what it means to be a parent. I don’t cry easily, but I read the final pages through a luminous wash of tears.
Spell-binding, life force of a memoir . . . For this book is all kinds of exceptional: an urgent, agonising exploration of fatherhood, masculinity and family; a testament to the power of the written word to reach out to us in dark times; and, above all, a hymn to the "shaping axe" of human love: motherly love, sibling love, erotic love, and ultimately, the transcending love of a father for a child, his in all but biology. And how, fragile as it may sometimes seem, that love can conquer a whole sea of strife.
The Bookseller

Upcoming events

Tim Winton and Howard Cunnell in conversation at Waterstones Brighton

Tim Winton and Howard Cunnell in conversation at Waterstones Brighton

  • Waterstones BRIGHTON
    Waterstones BRIGHTON
    71-74 North St Brighton , BN1 1ZA UNITED KINGDOM
  • 23 May 2017 19:30
23 May 2017 07:30Z 23 May 2017 08:30Z

Two great writers, admirers of one another's work, in conversation and reading from their respective new books: Tim Winton from THE BOY BEHIND THE CURTAIN and Howard Cunnell from FATHERS AND SONS, ...

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