My Father's Keeper: The Story of a Gay Son and His Aging Parents

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Beacon Press, May 15, 2007 - Biography & Autobiography - 164 pages
My Father’s Keeper is the story of Jonathan Silin, a gay man in midlife who learned to care for his elderly parents as a series of life-threatening illnesses forced them to make the difficult transition from being independent to relying on their son. Their new needs radically transformed what had been a distant and emotionally fraught relationship into one filled with intimate daily contact.

“Silin achieves a rare balance between clarity and immediacy, universality and specificity, and this is a supreme work, a searingly precise investigation into the times when ambivalence must coexist with love.” —Philip Huang, East Bay Express

“Jonathan Silin’s story is uniquely his own but it could be yours and mine. Precious human documents like this prepare us for what lies ahead. They teach and they heal.” —Terrence McNally, author of Master Class

“Silin offers a series of valuable reports from what might be called the country of farewells, using his raw experience to explore important questions about childhood, education, parenting, privacy, control, mental health, old age, death, and forgiveness. This is a rich, careful, honest book.” —Christopher Bram, author of Gods and Monsters

“A wise, insightful book.” —Andrew Holleran, author of The Beauty of Men

“A series of illuminating investigations into the themes of aging: independence, guilt, control, acceptance, forgiveness.” —Julie Hanus, Utne

Jonathan G. Silin, a member of the graduate faculty at Bank Street College of Education in New York, is the author of Sex, Death, and the Education of Children. He lives in New York.
 

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Contents

New Responsibilities
1
Out of Control
13
The Future in Question
31
Psychic Reality
47
Reading Writing and the Wrath of My Father
67
Unspoken Subjects
91
The Other Side of Silence
105
My Father His Psychiatrists and Me
123
Coda
145
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

Jonathan G. Silin, a member of the graduate faculty at Bank Street College of Education in New York, has published articles in Harvard Educational Review, Teachers College Record,and Educational Theory,as well as in more popular periodicals such as Newsday, The Chronicle of Higher Education,and Education Week.He is the author of Sex, Death, and the Education of Children,coeditor of Putting the Children First,and coproducer of Children Talk About AIDS.


From the Hardcover edition.

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