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'My parents didn't go in for directly telling me things...Some dots were scattered around, and I was given an opportunity, if I felt so inclined, to join them up'. Family Romance is a beautifully written memoir in which John Lanchester joins the dots of his parents' history, their extraordinary secrets and the shape of their shared life. From his grandparents' beginnings in rural Ireland and colonial Rhodesia, Lanchester navigates through his parent's lives: his father Bill's devastating war-time separation from his parents; his mother Julia's tragic first love, her decision to become a nun and her adoption of a new identity. Lanchester illuminates their characters and Julia's motives with moving insight. 'I grew up with a sense that there was ather, fuller, darker narrative looming behind the various shorter stories Julia told so well and so funnily'. Family Romance is a book about reticence and its costs. It is a story about love and fearing the strength of your own feelings; about family ties, and the flight from family, and the deep human need to keep secrets.
John Lanchester was born in Hamburg in 1962. He was brought up in the Far East and educated in England. His three novels, The Debt to Pleasure, Mr Phillips and Fragrant Harbour, have been translated into more than twenty languages. He is married and lives in London.