Our Father Who Wasn't There

Overview

A masterfully rendered memoir, this account weaves bits of truth and fiction in an attempt to tell the life story of Brian Carlin, the author’s father. In 1960s conservative Western Australia, Carlin commits suicide, resulting in his son David’s yearning to conjure up his father and uncover the series of events that led to his death. Piecing together Carlin’s tale from medical records, faltering memories, and imagined scenarios—including bouts of undergraduate bohemia in late-1940s Perth, a damaging undertow of ...

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Overview

A masterfully rendered memoir, this account weaves bits of truth and fiction in an attempt to tell the life story of Brian Carlin, the author’s father. In 1960s conservative Western Australia, Carlin commits suicide, resulting in his son David’s yearning to conjure up his father and uncover the series of events that led to his death. Piecing together Carlin’s tale from medical records, faltering memories, and imagined scenarios—including bouts of undergraduate bohemia in late-1940s Perth, a damaging undertow of electric-shock therapy, insulin comas, and whispered wartime events—this narrative underscores issues associated with mental illness and family burdens.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Carlin's memoir and detective story has both a toughness and a deeply resonant eloquence, a precious and very rare combination. Reading it is both a punch in the gut and a tender caress. It is a pleasure to take my hat off to him.”  —Christos Tsiolkas, author, The Slap

“In an act of great empathy and imagination, David Carlin both creates a father and fully illuminates the experience of fatherlessness.”  —Joan London, author, Gilgamesh and The Good Parents

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781921640254
  • Publisher: Scribe Publications Party Limited
  • Publication date: 7/1/2010
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

David Carlin teaches media production and writing at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. He is the author of several plays, including Frankenstein’s Children, and short films, including Out of Our Minds, and the director of Circus Oz.

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