Will this House Last Forever? On Losing a Father – Xanthi Barker
‘It felt such a privilege to read this book. Raw, devastating, beautifully formed. Let’s keep our eye on Barker’ Daisy Johnson’Potent and fearless’ Tabitha Lasley
When Xanthi Barker’s father died when she was in her mid twenties, she could make no sense of her grief for a man who had been absent for most of her life.
Her father, poet Sebastian Barker, had left Xanthi, her mother and her brother to pursue writing and a new relationship, when Xanthi was a baby. Growing up she had always struggled to reconcile his extravagant affection – a rocking horse crafted from scavenged wood, the endless stream of poems and drawings and letters, conversations that spiralled from the structure of starlight to philosophy to Bruce Springsteen – with the fact that he could not be depended upon for more everyday things. Though theirs was a relationship defined by departures, he always returned, so why should this farewell be any different, or more final?
WILL THIS HOUSE LAST FOREVER? is a heartfelt and wholly original memoir about the pain of having to come to terms with a parent’s mortality, the way grief so utterly defies logic, and about learning to see the flaws in those that we love, and let them go.
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