The Granta Book of the Family

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Editorial Reviews

(London) Financial Times
Strange things, families. . . . This is the main reason, apart from the quality of the contributors, for the excellence of Granta's Book of the Family: Twenty-two pieces of memoir and reportage. . . and not a dud among them.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Tolstoy's observation that every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way finds resonance in this collection of essays and stories about families, predominantly miserable ones, culled from the British literary magazine Granta, some of which became parts of recent books. Certain of the more interesting selections attest to strained relations between parents and children. Raymond Carver writes about the poverty and alcoholism that defeated his father; Doris Lessing tells of the bitterness that her birth caused her mother. Physical abuse makes for particularly compelling copy: Mikal Gilmore, whose piece about his brother, executed murderer Gary Gilmore, became a section in Shot in the Heart, profoundly explicates the effect of their father's violence on their family; in the most riveting entry, journalist Beverly Lowry links the sadism of an Oklahoma man with his murder by his two young sons. Nearly all the selections deal with mortality and the intense family feeling it provokes: ``Don't underestimate filial grief,'' writes Blake Morrison in a homage to his emotionally unreliable father. Among the other contributors are Saul Bellow, Geoffrey Wolff, Leonard Michaels, Angela Carter, Louise Erdrich, Mona Simpson and Bret Easton Ellis. Overall, this is a fine collection. (Sept.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780964561144
  • Publisher: Granta Books
  • Publication date: 4/1/1999
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 5.07 (w) x 8.01 (h) x 1.02 (d)

Table of Contents

Where He Was: Memories of My Father 7
Memoirs of a Bootlegger's Son 17
Hard Man 43
Sugar Daddy 65
Finished with Engines 79
And When Did You Last See Your Father? 93
My Father's Life 117
Never Let Me Down 123
August in My Father's House 135
Ramadan 149
Impertinent Daughters 169
The Many Colours of Blood 187
A Letter to Our Son 201
Field-Burning 219
Waterway 253
Patricide 277
The Business of Mourning 293
Family Album 301
Brothers 337
A Very Young Dancer 347
The Names of Women 373
The Up Escalator 379
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