Howard Cunnell

Fathers & Sons - A Memoir

 

fathers & sons - a memoir by howard cunnell

Picador 9th February 2017

BBC Radio 4 ‘Book of the Week’ and a Pan Macmillan audiobook

Granta (excerpt) January

Buchet Chastel (France) 2017

A Bookseller Magazine Book of the Month

 

 

 

 

There is so much aching love in this book, such pain and beauty.  Behold, and rejoice.

Tim Winton

 

Dazzlingly beautiful...this is truly heart-stopping writing: a unique and hard-won perspective unfolded in lucid and unforgettable prose.

Financial Times

 

One of the most good-hearted, big-souled books I’ve read.

The Guardian

 

In a little over 200 pages, this book manages to be all kinds of exceptional: an urgent, agonising exploration of fatherhood, masculinity and family and a testament to the power of the written word to reach out to us in dark times. Above all, it is a hymn to the "shaping axe" of human love.

Sunday Express

 

Artfully written, a meditation as much as a memoir, the fragments of his life presented with a novelist’s eye for detail and language…Images of brightness, of sun and shadow, make a prism of the book. Narrow ideas of what makes a father, what makes a son, are opened out into a rainbow of possibilities.

New Statesman

 

 

The clarity of its lovingly drawn characters and landscapes mark it out as the work of a word-worshipping novelist. There is nothing prosaic about this memoir…immensely moving. Any parents struggling with the psychological challenge of a trans teenager would benefit enormously from reading this bighearted book.

The Big Issue

 

This is a mesmerising exploration of love, parenthood, identity and gender, written with great sensitivity and honesty.

Attitude

 

Deeply affecting; there are some things stronger than blood.

Literary Review


Essential reading. Agonisingly beautiful and honest. One man's uncompromising testament to love.

Sarah Winman

 

This book tells the story of how family is made. It tells it frankly, unexpectedly and in such a way that both family and expectations are rewritten and renewed. I couldn't put it down. Bold, brave, beautiful - much more than biology. This is life itself.

Jackie Kay

 

I admire Cunnell's eye, his precise notation of light and water, whether in Mexico or Brixton, and the emotional commitment of his book. There is a resilience here that is on intimate terms with powerlessness.

Adam Mars-Jones

 

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

 

A miracle of a book: sad, wise, strong and hopeful.

Sunjeev Sahota

 

Jumping with beautiful compression through decades, handsomely written, honest and deeply moving, Cunnell's remarkable memoir is a work of guts, grit, and love.

Richard House

 

Awe-struck. Muscular, poetic, and just bursting with love.

Emylia Hall

 

A modern masterpiece.

Cathi Unsworth

 

Father & Sons explores what it is to come from a family, what it is to start one, and what it is to raise one. It explores what we do to each other within that embrace, bad and good, and what we can do better, even while we fail. Cunnell's memoir is cast in light, and water, and bodies. It is a memoir burnished with love and goodwill. It will leave you watching the world differently.

Naomi Wood

 

A beautiful, moving, and marvelously honest book. I relished its resolutely masculine point of view, especially on such a subject, and the tenderness and sensuality with which Cunnell depicts child-rearing.

Kate Clanchy

 

Fathers & Sons, Howard Cunnell’s remarkable and beautifully written book, opens up layer upon layer of the perils, and bliss, of domestic and familial existence and its historical precedents. Like a representative of the unconscious, Fathers & Sons is set in Cunnell’s familiar watery world: a detective on a global stage, he plumbs the depths of his own psyche to discover extraordinary revelations. A riveting work, Fathers & Sons takes you to utterly unexpected places.  

Chris Salewicz

 

With Father & Sons, Howard Cunnell reminds us what true artists do with all the mistakes they've ever made. They turn them into art. Dazzling and memorable, here is a strong and moving mosaic depicting the wayward mystery of our souls.

Austin Collings

 

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