A moving, unforgettable memoir of two lost men: a father and his child.
He had his final heart attack in the Silver Band Club in Corby, somewhere between the bar and the cigarette machine. A foundling; a fantasist; a morose, threatening drinker who was quick with his hands, he hadn't seen his son for years. John Burnside's extraordinary story of this failed relationship is a beautifully written evocation of a lost and damaged world of childhood and the constants of his father's world: men defined by the drink they could take and the pain they could stand, men shaped by their guilt and machismo.
A Lie About My Father is about forgiving but not forgetting, about examining the way men are made and how they fall apart, about understanding that in order to have a good son you must have a good father.
Saltire Scottish Book of the Year and the Scottish Arts Council Non-Fiction Book of the Year.
"Compelling and profoundly moving... This exquisitely written memoir is, literally, a journey into a heart of darkness - a darkness here lit up by beauty and truth" Independent
John Burnside is amongst the most acclaimed writers of his generation. His novels, short stories, poetry and memoirs have won numerous awards, including the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, the Whitbread Poetry Award, the Encore Award and the Saltire Scottish Book of the Year. In 2011 he became only the second person to win both the Forward and T. S. Eliot Prizes for poetry for the same book, Black Cat Bone . In 2015 he was a judge for the Man Booker Prize. He is a Professor in the School of English at St Andrews University.