And when Did You Last See Your Father?

Front Cover
Granta, 2007 - Authors, English - 231 pages
And when did you last see your father? When did you? Was it last weekend or last Christmas? Was it before or after he exhaled his last breath? When was he able to recognize you, or complete a task (changing a lightbulb, fixing your bookshelves) without having to be helped himself? And was it him really, in the fullness of his being - or was it a version of him, shaped by your own expectations and disappointments? Blake Morrison's subject is universal: the life and death of a parent, a father at once beloved and exasperating, competent and inept, charming and infuriating, domineering and terribly vulnerable. But this memoir's central concern is identity. In reading about Dr. Arthur Morrison, we ask ourselves the same searching questions that Blake Morrison poses. Can we ever see our parents as themselves? Or are they forever defined by the lens of a child's or a teenager's eyes? What are the secrets of their lives, and why do they spare us that knowledge? How can we ever know our fathers in their other incarnations - as friends, as husbands and lovers, as employees? And when they die, what do they take with them that cannot be recovered or inherited?

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - SandDune - LibraryThing

This is a thoughtful and perceptive reflection on the life, and particularly on the death, of the author's father. But unlike many books of this type, this isn't a picture of a dysfunctional family or ... Read full review


User Review  - Kirkus

British poet and literary editor of the Sunday Independent, Morrison records in stark and beautiful prose the ugly details of his father's slow death from stomach cancer. To the embarrassment of his ... Read full review

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About the author (2007)

Blake Morrison is the author of several books, including

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