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Family Romance

John Lanchester

Family Romance is an astonishing true story of family secrets stretching around the world and through three generations, by John Lanchester, the bestselling author of Capital and Fragrant Harbour.

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In this acclaimed memoir from the award-winning author of Fragrant Harbour and Capital, John Lanchester pieces together his family’s past and uncovers their extraordinary secrets – from his grandparents’ life in colonial Rhodesia to his mother’s time as a nun – with clear-eyed compassion. A true story of family intrigues, of secrets and lies, as they unfold across three generations.

Critic Reviews

Superb writing... this is a wonderful and absorbing book, a psychological study of great insight.

Daily Telegraph
Critic Reviews

A colourful, entertaining tale... this is a subtle and sensitive attempt at achieving self-awareness through an understanding of one's parents.

Irish Times
Critic Reviews

A riveting write-up of his detective work, especially commendable for its care and compassion. It's a rare memoir that doesn't make you feel the need to shower off the bile afterwards.

London Lite
Critic Reviews

Lanchester has found the extraordinary in s father's ordinariness and made for him, and for his mother, a memorial that deserves to endure. The prose of this multi-biography is exemplary... [it is] a profoundly important book that addresses the nature of love, of memory and of causation... this book matters - all the more so in this rushed and passing world.

The Times
Critic Reviews

The central story is interesting enough, but it is the writing that makes the book: the unassuming reasonableness of Lanchester's voice isoddly beguiling, and he offers myriad small solid insights into family life that are funny and painful by turns.

Sunday Times
Critic Reviews

In this sympathetic memoir of his parents, novelist John Lanchester carefully reveals aspects of their lives they kept hidden from him... the real strength of this book - apart from it superb writing- is how Julia and Bill's qualities combine in their son.


John Lanchester has written five novels, The Debt to Pleasure, Mr Phillips, Fragrant Harbour, Capital and The Wall, and three works of non-fiction: Family Romance, a memoir; Whoops!: Why everyone owes everyone and no one can pay, about the global financial crisis; and How to Speak Money, a primer in popular economics. His books have won the Hawthornden Prize, the…

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