Granta £8.99 (408pp) from the Independent Bookshop: 08430 600 030
Are We Related?, Edited by Liz Jobey
Friday 24 September 2010
Philip Larkin's famously frank condemnation of the effects of parents - that they "fuck us up" - lead us into this Granta collection of fiction and memoir on family relationships.
It ranges from David Goldblatt's memory of his elderly, murdered father to Linda Grant's recollections of the impossibility of managing her mother's dementia ("my mother, my child") which formed a part of her book, Remind Me of Who I Am Again.
Ali Smith's joyous, childlike dad-worship sits alongside the sad cynicism in Raymond Carver's "Call If You Need Me", a stunning story about infidelity unpublished in his lifetime.
These evocations of family life by Graham Swift, Hilary Mantel and Orhan Pamuk, among others, both refute and reinstate Larkin's fatalism.
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