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Fathers and Sons

by Howard Cunnell

$19.99

$19.99

There is so much aching love in this book, such pain and beauty. Behold, and rejoice.' - Tim Winton, author of Cloudstreet

Was he thinking, do I have to be this kind of boy to survive? Is this what being a boy is?


As a boy growing up on the south coast of England, Howard Cunnell's sense of self was dominated by his father's absence. Now, years later, he is a father, and his daughter is becoming his son.

Starting with his own childhood in the Sussex beachlands, Howard tells the story of the years of self-destruction that defined his young adulthood and the escape he found in reading and the natural world. Still he felt compelled to destroy the relationships that mattered to him.

Saved by love and responsibility, Cunnell charts his journey from anger to compassion, as his daughter Jay realizes he is a boy, and a son.

Most of all, this is a story about love - its necessity and fragility, and its unequalled capacity to enable us to be who we are.

Deeply thoughtful, searingly honest and exquisitely lyrical, Fathers and Sons is an exploration of fatherhood, masculinity, authenticity and family.

Book Information

  • ISBN: 9781509812448
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pub Date: 27/02/2018
  • Category: Health & personal development / Intergenerational relationships
    Biography & True Stories / Memoirs
  • Imprint: Picador
  • Pages: 224
  • Price: $19.99

There is so much aching love in this book, such pain and beauty. Behold, and rejoice.' - Tim Winton, author of Cloudstreet

Was he thinking, do I have to be this kind of boy to survive? Is this what being a boy is?


As a boy growing up on the south coast of England, Howard Cunnell's sense of self was dominated by his father's absence. Now, years later, he is a father, and his daughter is becoming his son.

Starting with his own childhood in the Sussex beachlands, Howard tells the story of the years of self-destruction that defined his young adulthood and the escape he found in reading and the natural world. Still he felt compelled to destroy the relationships that mattered to him.

Saved by love and responsibility, Cunnell charts his journey from anger to compassion, as his daughter Jay realizes he is a boy, and a son.

Most of all, this is a story about love - its necessity and fragility, and its unequalled capacity to enable us to be who we are.

Deeply thoughtful, searingly honest and exquisitely lyrical, Fathers and Sons is an exploration of fatherhood, masculinity, authenticity and family.

Author Information

Howard Cunnell has a Ph.D. from the University of London, and has been a Leverhulme Fellow at the University of Sussex. He is the editor of Jack Kerouac's On the Road: The Original Scroll, which the New York Times described as 'the living version for our time'. A former professional scuba-diving instructor, he lives in London with his wife and children.

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