Radio 2 Book Club: Fathers and Sons

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Fathers and Sons by Howard Cunnell will feature on the Radio 2 Fact not Fiction Book Club on Thursday 2 March.

You can win 10 copies for your reading group!

We also have an exclusive extract available for your reading group.

Fathers and Sons

As a boy growing up on the south coast of England, Howard Cunnell’s sense of self was dominated by his father’s absence. Now, years later, he is a father, and his daughter is becoming his son. Starting with his own childhood in the Sussex beachlands, Howard tells the story of the years of self-destruction that defined his young adulthood and the escape he found in reading and the natural world. Still he felt compelled to destroy the relationships that mattered to him.

Saved by love and responsibility, Cunnell charts his journey from anger to compassion, as his daughter Jay realizes he is a boy, and a son. Most of all, this is a story about love – its necessity and fragility, and its unequalled capacity to enable us to be who we are.

Selection panel review

The book was selected with the help of a panel made up of staff from The Reading Agency and public libraries from across the UK. Our library reading panel loved Fathers and Sons – here are some of their comments:

“Beautiful writing, in first-person diary-entry style paragraphs, delicate observation, dealing with difficult topics.”

“I loved this book and couldn’t put it down. I thought it was a beautiful book and very poignant – in many ways it reminded me of The Outrun by Amy Liptrot. It was a very powerful read and very affecting and emotive.”

“I enjoyed the book; I loved the tales on the 1960’s and 1970’s childhood and the evocative memories. The book is written in a very fluid and engaging way that is easy to read and makes you want to read further. The author also shows himself in many lights and does not sugar coat his own defects and failings. Inspiring and sometimes hard to read but I loved it.”

About the author

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Howard Cunnell has a PhD from the University of London, and was previously a Leverhulme Fellow at the University of Sussex. He is the editor of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road: The Original Scroll, which the New York Times described as ‘the living version for our time’. A former professional scuba-diving instructor, he lives in London with his wife and children.

Get involved

Tune in to Jonathon Ross’s Radio 2 Arts Show on Thursday 2 March to hear a live interview with Howard.

Have you read Fathers and Sons? You can share your thoughts with us on Twitter using #FactNotFiction, #FathersandSons and #HowardCunnell.

You can see what other readers thought or add the book to your group’s reading list.

Want to find out more? Take a look at the Radio 2 Book Club Twitter feed or find out more on the Radio 2 Book Club website.

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