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  • Published: 15 March 2018
  • ISBN: 9781784705084
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 256
  • RRP: $19.99


Sam Miller's moving, personal account of his relationship with his father, Karl Miller, and the family secret they never spoke about

In early 2014, after many years living abroad, Sam Miller returned to his childhood home in London. His father was dying.

In the months after his death, Sam began to write about his father. He had been told, long ago, a family secret involving his parents and a close friend. Now, by reading his father’s papers and with the help of his mother, he was able to piece together a remarkable story.

Fathers is the result: a tender, thoughtful exploration of childhood and parenthood, of friendship, love and loyalty.

  • Published: 15 March 2018
  • ISBN: 9781784705084
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 256
  • RRP: $19.99

About the author

Sam Miller

Sam Miller was born and brought up in London, but has spent much of his adult life in India. He is a former BBC journalist and is the author of Delhi: Adventures in a Megacity (2009), Blue Guide: India (2012) and A Strange Kind of Paradise: India Through Foreign Eyes (2014). He is also the translator of The Marvellous (But Authentic) Adventures of Captain Corcoran (2016) by Alfred Assollant.

Also by Sam Miller

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Praise for Fathers

A quiet and deeply affecting meditation on friendship and family secrets, Fathers glitters with love and uncertainty. Miller writes beautifully about mystery, memory, and how we choose our paths through life, how we decide who we are.

Helen Macdonald

Fathers is something much more surprising than a literary life: both a touching celebration of a parent, and the gentle unraveling of a family secret.

Andrew Holgate, Sunday Times

I can’t remember when I have more enjoyed a memoir, in the reading and in the conversations in my head afterwards with its author. Fathers is a profoundly rich and rewarding experience and will be gobbled up by readers and writers.

Cathy Rentzenbrink, The Times

Fathers… is not a misery memoir. Far from it. It is… a kind of detective story

Rachel Cooke, Observer

This book began as an extension of the speech Sam made at his father’s funeral – and as a way to cope with his grief. It has become something else in the process: an exploration of love, sex, genetic disposition and what makes us who we are… There has been some remarkable dad lit over the last year… and Sam Miller’s is a fascinating addition to the genre… There may be some who would have preferred the story to stay in-house. And as Sam is quick to acknowledge, others would tell it differently. But his, the son’s version, is sunny: generous in spirit, exculpatory in tone, grateful rather than self-pitying.

Blake Morrison, Guardian

This engaging book is not only a valuable portrait of the intensely private Karl Miller, but also a poignant account of the life of his beloved friend.

William Palmer, Literary Review

A very moving portrait of a startlingly charismatic figure.

Gaby Wood, Daily Telegraph

It takes a sharp look at family life, at the mores of the 1960s and 1970s, at Karl Miller’s history and complex personality, and at friendship, death, revelation and affirmation. It is subtle and reflective. It is… of a luminous idiosyncrasy… Fathers, elegant, illuminating and deeply personal, is a fitting tribute to a distinctive man. It affords new insights into someone especially hard to pin down.

Patricia Craig, The Irish Times

Tactfully composed and sensitively written, Fathers leaves an abiding impression of decent people doing their best in difficult circumstances.

D.J. Taylor, Spectator

Sam Miller's memoir Fathers is ostensibly about a family secret. But its true subject is a family silence… The book is about ways to be a father, but also, more generally, about ways to be a man, from the 1950s to now. Should you be an intellectual, and write letters full of irony and wit? How camp are you allowed to be, or how fearful of homoeroticism? Must you be good at manual labour? Where do you stand in relation to class or entitlement? Should you be more interested in football than you are?

Gaby Wood, Irish Independent

Sam has written a moving memoir that reveals a life well lived.

Choice Magazine

Here, warts and all, is the story of Miller paterfamilias and grandfather Karl, who died in 2014, researched by Sam with care and attention… A certain sly, piquant humour runs like a seam through the narrative and there is much to ponder on in the matter of relationships, family and otherwise.

Paddy Kehoe, RTE Online

Sam discovered when he was a teenager, he is not, in fact, Karl Miller’s son, but the product of an on-again-off-again affair his mother, Jane, had with a family friend, Tony White… Fathers is Miller’s heartfelt attempt to come to terms with his complicated family, to consider the meaning of fatherhood and to grasp at the ghost of Tony White… His quest for a deeper understanding of his paternity is punctuated by his accounts of the months and weeks before his father’s death, a time to which he returns in his mind, painting a loving portrait of father and son. Something is missing, and yet nothing is missing.

Erica Wagner, New Statesman

A powerful memoir.

Simon Shaw, Mail on Sunday

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