Half the Way Home: A Memoir of Father and Son

Half the Way Home: A Memoir of Father and Son

by Adam Hochschild
     
 

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From the author of the best-selling King Leopold's Ghost, this haunting and deeply honest memoir tells of Adam Hochschild's conflicted relationship with his father, the head of a multinational mining corporation. The author lyrically evokes his privileged childhood on an Adirondack estate, a colorful uncle who was a pioneer aviator and fighter ace, and his first

Overview


From the author of the best-selling King Leopold's Ghost, this haunting and deeply honest memoir tells of Adam Hochschild's conflicted relationship with his father, the head of a multinational mining corporation. The author lyrically evokes his privileged childhood on an Adirondack estate, a colorful uncle who was a pioneer aviator and fighter ace, and his first explorations of the larger world he encountered as he came of age in the tumultuous 1960s. But above all this is a story of a father and his only son and of the unexpected peace finally made between them.

Editorial Reviews

Michiko Kakutani
By turns nostalgic and regretful, lyrical and melancholy, Half the Way Home creates a deeply felt portrait of a man and a boy...it also provides an extraordinarily moving portrait of the complexities and confusions of familial love. While it pushes the reader into memories of his own experiences in that eternal, summertime world of childhood and adolescence, the book also remains firmly grounded in the specifics of a particular time and place, conjuring them up with Proustian detail and affection. -- (Michiko Kakutani, New York Times)
Newsday
Adam Hochschild...knows well that the past lives on within us, unshakeable, in our dreams as well as in our waking life. With skill and knowledge, he charts his father's strange but liberating transformation in character after his wife's death. The stories he tells are in themselves remarkable, but his telling makes them doubly so.
People
It is a primer on the upper class and on class itself, a series of meditations on the burden of wealth to the liberal consciousness and even a commentary on what it means to be a Jew in America....This is a fine and moving book.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780618439201
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
01/07/2005
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
248
Sales rank:
384,433
Product dimensions:
(w) x (h) x 0.56(d)

Read an Excerpt

The most vivid memories I have of my childhood are of the summer evenings when Boris's plane took off.

Boris Vasilievich Sergievsky, captain in the Imperial Russian air force, World War I fighter pilot, winner of the Order of St. George (which entitles the bearer to a personal audience with the Tsar, any time of day or night), test pilot for the Pan American Clippers of the 1930s, tenor, gourmet, lover, horseman, and adventurer, was, miraculously, my uncle. One day he had flown his plane down from the sky and, to the complete shock of all her relatives, had married my father's sister, Gertrude. She was then forty-one years old and had almost certainly never even kissed a man before. From that point on, life in our family was never the same.

What People are saying about this

E L. Doctorow
His story is fascinating, and the portrait of a lost childhood offered here evokes one of the archetypal dreams of the American mind.
Studs Terkel
An exquisite memoir of a boy growing up: of a world of privilege and the one beyond. It is in coming to understand his powerful father that Adam Hochschild is able to under stand both worlds.
Nadine Gordimer
I was so moved, disturbed and diverted by this beautifully plain account of the most complicated and delicate set of emotions, not just between father and son but more widely between the mystery of power and powerlessness.
Alice Adams
I loved reading Half the Way Home. It is such a gentle book, its eloquence so delicate--and at the same time very strong, dealing as it does with such an exceptionally, intensely difficult relationship.

Meet the Author

ADAM HOCHSCHILD is the author of seven books. King Leopold's Ghost was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, as was his recent To End All Wars. His Bury the Chains was a finalist for the National Book Award and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and PEN USA Literary Award. He lives in Berkeley, California.


Brief Biography

Hometown:
San Francisco, California
Date of Birth:
October 5, 1942
Place of Birth:
New York, New York
Education:
A.B., Harvard College, 1963

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