by Nick Flynn - £8.99 Faber and Faber (2009)
paperback ISBN 13: 9780571243709 | ISBN 10: 0571243703
One day I hope to be able to tell my daughter a story about a dark time, the dark days before she was born, and how her coming was a ray of light. 'We got lost for a while', this story will begin, 'but then we found our way.'
Set just before the birth of Flynnís first child, a daughter, this impassioned memoir explores the fears and joys of becoming a father, whilst artfully interweaving passages from Flynnís own childhood.
Haunted by a history of addiction, a relationship with a fantasist father and a longing to connect with his mother, who committed suicide when he was a child, Flynn explores these painful memories and unsteady relationships to create an unflinching and unforgettable story. The time bomb of the title becomes a vehicle for exploring his impending fatherhood, which brings him face to face with the stark realities of humanity - among them, the terror, torture and political crimes that begin to haunt him.
Here is a dazzling, inventive memoir of profound self-discovery, of painful family memories, and of the compulsion to run from love, but ultimately to embrace it.
(Price & availability last checked: November 2018)