Sins of My Father

Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781474623292

Price: £9.99

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‘An extraordinary story’ CLOVER STROUD
‘Astonishing and valuable’ THE SPECTATOR
‘Beautifully written’ DAILY MAIL
‘Intensely gripping . . . as brutal and funny as it is raw and candid’ VIV GROSKOP
‘As vivid an account of addiction as I can remember reading’ GUARDIAN
‘Will resonate with anyone who has loved a difficult parent and spent a lifetime trying to work them out’ ALI MILLAR

When Lily Dunn was six years old, her father left for India to join the cult of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. She grew up enthralled by the myth of him – a brilliant, charismatic writer and entrepreneur who would appear with gifts from faraway places. Yet he was also a compulsive liar whose pursuit of transcendence took him from sex addiction, via the Rajneesh cult, to a relentless chase of money, which ended in ruin and finally addiction to alcohol and prescription drugs. A daughter’s investigation into a father who was always out of reach, Sins of My Father is a gripping detective story that asks how much we can forgive of those we love.

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Reviews

Forensic in its compassion and precise in its love: an extraordinary account of an extraordinary life that produces great empathy for the universals of human frailty
JENN ASHWORTH, author of GHOSTED
Superb . . . Sins of My Father is a terrific read, beautifully written and expertly structured. The book pulls off the difficult trick of laying bare just how morally bankrupt Lily's father was, while making the reader understand why she didn't give up on him until the very end
Constance Craig Smith, DAILY MAIL, Book of the Week
In Sins of My Father Lily Dunn has created an almost forensic analysis of the curse of the Charismatic Dad - on himself, his family and specifically here on his little daughter, who grows up under the desperate double shadow cast by addiction and devoted love, and finally in this memoir does all the painstaking, heartbreaking, ultimately fulfilling work that her father couldn't do
LOUISA YOUNG, author of YOU LEFT EARLY
An intensely gripping memoir about the love between a daughter and a father. There's no end to the ways this father tests his loved ones, yet still his family keeps on trying and hoping for the best. A heart-stoppingly brilliant read that is as brutal and funny as it is raw and candid. I really wanted the craziness to stop - but I never wanted this book to end
VIV GROSKOP, author of I LAUGHED, I CRIED
Sins of My Father is a powerful, necessary, brilliantly brave book. It is superlative; it hums and flies and sings. It is moving and true
MARINA BENJAMIN, author of INSOMNIA
Sins of My Father is a devastating work of love, pain and hope. Lily Dunn has created art and insight from chaos, joy and suffering
SOFKA ZINOVIEFF, author of PUTNEY
In Sins of My Father Lily Dunn deftly explores the complexity of her father's choices; it's a startling book that will resonate with anyone who has loved a difficult parent and spent a lifetime trying to work them out
ALI MILLAR, author of THE LAST DAYS
Sins of My Father is a moving story about a golden, gifted family and their paradise lost. About a daughter escaping the dense gravitational pull of a charismatic father through the act of writing. By turns tender and forensic, loving then fierce, this book will speak to anyone who has had to love and let go
TANYA SHADRICK, author of THE CURE FOR SLEEP
A notable addition to the canon of work on cults . . . At its most tender and difficult, Sins of My Father is really about the near intractable impossibility of moving beyond childhood trauma to transform a damaging legacy into something positive - and this is exactly what Dunn achieves with this remarkable book
CAUGHT BY THE RIVER
Stunning. Beautifully crafted and brutally honest, Sins of My Father is a totally mesmerising journey through the outer limits of love
DAVID WHITEHOUSE, author of ABOUT A SON
Unputdownable. A love story. A horror story. The unmasking of an unfortunately still much-beloved guru. A soul-searching that can teach us much about how to analyse and escape from a cruel narcissist. It is horrifying and real and brilliantly written
JANJA LALICH, author of ESCAPING UTOPIA
This is a memoir of two lives: Dunn's father, who took enthusiastically to the Rajneesh cult and Dunn, whose life is overshadowed by this early abandonment. She writes with cold, controlled anger but also empathy. It's a gripping tale
THE TIMES
Lily Dunn manages the magic trick of rendering pain exquisite, and making beautiful the vacillation between heart and head, love and reason that characterises human relationships. The heady honesty of this book will reverberate in me for a long time
ZOE GILBERT, author of MISCHIEF ACTS
A brutally honest consideration of toxic familial love and human frailty
i NEWSPAPER
In this compelling memoir, Lily Dunn confronts the legacies of trauma and dysfunction that surround her complicated father. She writes with searing honesty and clarity, exploring what it means to step away from the shadow of our family and find our own voice
LULAH ELLENDER, author of ELISABETH'S LISTS
An extraordinary story . . . brilliantly captures the painful truth of impossible love. Sins of My Father is both page-turning and lyrical, an inspiration . . . one of the best memoirs I've read in a long time
CLOVER STROUD, author of MY WILD AND SLEEPLESS NIGHTS
Considerable courage is needed to return to the stark, bright light of trauma in this shirking-nothing way; but writing of this intensity has delivered an astonishing and valuable memoir
Juliet Nicolson, THE SPECTATOR
Sins of My Father is Dunn's attempt to know her father, constantly on the move, impossible to rely on . . . she puts it together as if she is a detective working a long-forgotten cold case, and though its setting is very different, it reminded me of Laura Cummings' gripping memoir, On Chapel Sands . . . there is beauty in its crisp, cold clarity . . . as vivid an account of addiction as I can remember reading. Sins of My Father is a testament to the damage done, but it reads, in the end, like the slow discovery of freedom
Rebecca Nicholson, GUARDIAN
I was obsessed with Sins of My Father, a memoir which combines the emotional and the cerebral in telling the story of a life through the prism of a father's influence. The stories of the children of hippies, or parents who chose experimental lifestyles, is fascinating and fertile territory and although this story is Lily's own, she also speaks for a cohort. It is a victory of self-knowledge and compassion, as well as art
AMY LIPTROT, author of THE OUTRUN
With keen insight Dunn tells her story, of a sensitive child who adores her dashing, abandoning father, who grows up, as so many adult children of narcissists do, starving for the kind of parental love and recognition a narcissist is always too self-absorbed to bestow . . . her story of healing and struggling to build a good, strong, healthy life is moving and inspiring
DANIEL SHAW, author of TRAUMATIC NARCISSISM