Will This House Last Forever? (Paperback)Xanthi Barker (author)
- Coming soon
'Completely original, raw and warm' Evening Standard Books of the Summer
'Poignant... written with intelligence and tears' Ben Okri
'Nuanced, absorbing and moving... extraordinary' Observer
'Raw, poetic, beautifully formed' Daisy Johnson
When Xanthi Barker's father died when she was in her mid twenties, she could make no sense of her grief for a man who had been absent for most of her life. Her father, poet Sebastian Barker, had left Xanthi, her mother and her brother to pursue writing and a new relationship, when Xanthi was a baby. Growing up she had always struggled to reconcile his extravagant affection - a rocking horse crafted from scavenged wood, the endless stream of poems and drawings and letters, conversations that spiralled from the structure of starlight to philosophy to Bruce Springsteen - with the fact that he could not be depended upon for more everyday things. Though theirs was a relationship defined by departures, he always returned, so why should this farewell be any different, or more final?
WILL THIS HOUSE LAST FOREVER? is a heartfelt and wholly original memoir about the pain of having to come to terms with a parent's mortality, the way grief so utterly defies logic, and about learning to see the flaws in those that we love, and let them go.
Publisher: Headline Publishing Group
Number of pages: 368
Weight: 41 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 mm
Heartbreaking... beautifully written * The Times *
This book counts the true cost of having a writer in the family. Meticulously, Xanthi Barker traces the fault lines of her fractured relationship with her father back through his own marriage, all the way to her grandparents' union: the original, generative source of their poetry and pain. This is a fearless debut: potent and intensely moving -- Tabitha Lasley, author of SEA STATE
It felt such a privilege to read this book. Raw, devastating, beautifully formed. Let's keep our eye on Barker -- Daisy Johnson
Barker's attempt to triangulate a void is haunting. Yet even from the depths her memories glow with life, the writing gleams with precision -- Rhik Samadder, author of I NEVER SAID I LOVED YOU
'Nuanced, moving and absorbing... open, youthful and uncensored... extraordinary * Observer *
The story of a relationship defined by departures... arresting and beautifully written * The Bookseller (Editor's Choice, June) *
Conveys brilliantly the maddening experience of loving someone who is absent when present and present when absent... I was drawn in by her intense prose. A great new talent -- Jill Hopper, author of THE MAHOGANY POD
[An] eloquent, moving memoir * Stylist *
Wonderful - an elegy of sorts, yet wholly fresh and unsentimental -- Sarah Baume
A radiant book. I missed Xanthi Barker's wise, perceptive voice the moment I finished it. Vivid, evocative and addictive, without losing any of its meditative grace -- Francesca Reece, author of VOYEUR
As well as offering a powerful evocation of loss, it is also wonderfully funny, brilliantly astute in its observation of everyday life, and beautifully written * Litro *
Beautifully explores Barker's relationship with her father... and the experience of losing an 'eccentric, charismatic' man * Image *
An extraordinary book, searingly personal, and unflinching in the way it deals with tricky emotional terrain.... Truly one to treasure * Culturefly *
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