Cover image for Your father.
Your father.
Myerson, Jonathan.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
London : Review, 2000.

Physical Description:
272 pages ; 20 cm
General Note:
Originally published: 1999.
Format :


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X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Everything is for sale in the former Soviet Union, it seems - even dignity. On a visit to Moscow as Junior Trade Minister, Duncan's sympathties are aroused by Natalya, a young woman working in a lab close to an important medical breakthrough. His desperate need to make a personal gesture prompts a wild decision, one which puts his own career and family on the line.

But maybe this is all determined by the influence of his father - and the evidence Duncan discovers of his father's own betrayals, and their tragic consequences?

Author Notes

Jonathan Myerson is the author of NOISE. Also a theatre director and screenwriter, he adapted and directed the Oscar-nominated and BAFTA-winning animated film of Chaucer's CANTERBURY TALES. He lives in South London.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Duncan's life is stalling. He is a junior minister for the British government, unable to pass a bill he feels passionately about; his impotence is ruining his marriage; and he has discovered his dying father's journal chronicling an intense and disastrous affair during Duncan's youth. While on a business visit to Moscow, he meets Natalya, a young scientist whose lab is in danger of being closed down. Duncan originally got into the business of politics with the idealistic notion of being able to help others, and he instantly feels a connection to Natalya's plight--especially after she reveals she is studying schizophrenia, from which his brother suffered until suicide earlier in the year. The pressures of life pull at Duncan, and he is trapped between doing the right thing for the world and doing the right thing for himself. Although seemingly a novel about Duncan's life and relationships with his wife, son, and--now lover--Natalya, the heart of the story is the relationship between his father and himself, and how it has affected his entire existence. --Ellie Barta-Moran

Publisher's Weekly Review

Fathers, sons, the British Parliament and the new Russia all have roles to play in this semi-oedipal tale of men fighting their destinies. The protagonist, Duncan Fisk, is a middle-aged MP going through a typical midlife crisis. At a dead end in his career and estranged from his wife, Gina, and young son, Teddo, Duncan feels the same despair that years before caused his schizophrenic brother to take his own life. Adding to his sense of hopelessness is the comparison he must inevitably make of himself with his father, Ronnie, once a dedicated public defender, now a mute invalid following a stroke. An encounter, during a business trip to Russia, with Natalya, a lovely scientist who begs for British funding, jars Duncan from his malaise. But it is his father's written testament, scribbled in a hospital bed, describing his own attempt to deal with a restlessness just like Duncan's, that motivates Duncan to take drastic action, landing him in a dangerous no-man's-land between his old life in England and his potential new one in Russia. Told alternately in Duncan's and Ronnie's voices, the story also skips back and forth between Duncan's past with his family and his present, which itself is split between London and Moscow. Despite this somewhat confusing structure, Myerson (Noise) artfully weaves the plot strands together, and manages to keep Duncan's gloom from slowing the narrative. In the end, Duncan's headlong flight into the great Slavic unknown of present-day, lawless Russia, where anything goes, seems implausible. Nevertheless, Myerson's depiction of father-son relationships is compelling, and his smooth, neat prose is eminently readable. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved