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Sins of My Father

Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9781474623278

Price: £16.99

ON SALE: 17th March 2022

Genre: Biography & True Stories / Memoirs

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When Lily Dunn was just six years old, her father left the family home to follow his guru to India, trading domestic life for clothes dyed in oranges and reds and the promise of enlightenment with the cult of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. Since then he has been a mystery to her.

She grew up enthralled by the image of him; effervescent, ambitious and elusive, a writer, publisher and entrepreneur, a man who would appear with gifts from faraway places, and with whom she spent the long, hot summers of her teenage years in Italy, in the company of his wild and wealthy friends.

Yet he was also a compulsive liar, a delinquent, a man who abandoned his responsibilities in a pursuit of transcendence that took him from sex addiction, via the Rajneesh cult, to a relentless chase of money, which ended in ruin and finally addiction to alcohol and prescription drugs.

A detective story that charts two colliding narratives, Sins of My Father is a daughter’s attempt to unravel the mysteries of a father who believed himself to be beyond reproach. A dazzling work of literary memoir, it asks how deep legacies of shame and trauma run, and if we can reconcile unconditional love with irreparable damage.

Reviews

SINS OF MY FATHER is a moving story about a golden, gifted family and their paradise lost. About a daughter escaping the dense gravitational pull of a charismatic father through the act of writing. By turns tender and forensic, loving then fierce, this book will speak to anyone who has had to love and let go
TANYA SHADRICK, author of THE CURE FOR SLEEP
SINS OF MY FATHER is a powerful, necessary, brilliantly brave book. It is superlative; it hums and flies and sings. It is moving and true
MARINA BENJAMIN, authof of INSOMNIA
I was obsessed with SINS OF MY FATHER, a memoir which combines the emotional and the cerebral in telling the story of a life through the prism of a father's influence. The stories of the children of hippies, or parents who chose experimental lifestyles, is fascinating and fertile territory and although this story is Lily's own, she also speaks for a cohort. It is a victory of self-knowledge and compassion, as well as art
AMY LIPTROT, author of THE OUTRUN
SINS OF MY FATHER is stunning. Beautifully crafted and brutally honest, it's a totally mesmerising journey through the outer limits of love
DAVID WHITEHOUSE, author of ABOUT A SON
SINS OF MY FATHER is forensic in its compassion and precise in its love: an extraordinary account of an extraordinary life that produces great empathy for the universals of human frailty
JENN ASHWORTH, author of GHOSTED
In this compelling memoir, Lily Dunn confronts the legacies of trauma and dysfunction that surround her complicated father. She writes with searing honesty and clarity, exploring what it means to step away from the shadow of our family and find our own voice
LULAH ELLENDER, author of ELISABETH'S LISTS
Sins of My Father is a devastating work of love, pain and hope. Lily Dunn has created art and insight from chaos, joy and suffering
SOFKA ZINOVIEFF, author of PUTNEY
Sins of My Father is an intensely gripping memoir about the love between a daughter and a father. There's no end to the ways this father tests his loved ones, yet still his family keeps on trying and hoping for the best. A heart-stoppingly brilliant read that is as brutal and funny as it is raw and candid. I really wanted the craziness to stop - but I never wanted this book to end
VIV GROSKOP, author of I LAUGHED, I CRIED
In Sins of My Father Lily Dunn deftly explores the complexity of her father's choices; it's a startling book that will resonate with anyone who has loved a difficult parent and spent a lifetime trying to work them out
ALI MILLAR, author of THE LAST DAYS
Lily Dunn manages the magic trick of rendering pain exquisite, and making beautiful the vacillation between heart and head, love and reason that characterises human relationships. The heady honesty of this book will reverberate in me for a long time
ZOE GILBERT, author of MISCHIEF ACTS
In SINS OF MY FATHER Lily Dunn has created an almost forensic analysis of the curse of the Charismatic Dad - on himself, his family and specifically here on his little daughter, who grows up under the desperate double shadow cast by addiction and devoted love, and finally in this memoir does all the painstaking, heartbreaking, ultimately fulfilling work that her father couldn't do
LOUISA YOUNG, author of YOU LEFT EARLY
An extraordinary story . . . brilliantly captures the painful truth of impossible love. SINS OF MY FATHER is both page-turning and lyrical, an inspiration . . . one of the best memoirs I've read in a long time
CLOVER STROUD, author of MY WILD AND SLEEPLESS NIGHTS
Considerable courage is needed to return to the stark, bright light of trauma in this shirking-nothing way; but writing of this intensity has delivered an astonishing and valuable memoir
Juliet Nicolson, THE SPECTATOR
A brutally honest consideration of toxic familial love and human frailty
i NEWSPAPER
Sins of My Father is Dunn's attempt to know her father, constantly on the move, impossible to rely on . . . she puts it together as if she is a detective working a long-forgotten cold case, and though its setting is very different, it reminded me of Laura Cummings' gripping memoir, On Chapel Sands . . . there is beauty in its crisp, cold clarity . . . as vivid an account of addiction as I can remember reading. Sins of My Father is a testament to the damage done, but it reads, in the end, like the slow discovery of freedom
Rebecca Nicholson, GUARDIAN
Superb . . . Sins of My Father is a terrific read, beautifully written and expertly structured. The book pulls off the difficult trick of laying bare just how morally bankrupt Lily's father was, while making the reader understand why she didn't give up on him until the very end
Constance Craig Smith, DAILY MAIL, Book of the Week