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My Father in the Night Mass Market Paperback – May 23, 1992

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

As a raw young recruit in the Irish Republican Brotherhood, Michael "MJ" Pearse guarded a kidnapped elderly prisoner and fingered the man's son, whom IRB terrorists then murdered. Now, some 45 years later, MJ carries massive guilt from that incident, a guilt that distorts his relationships with his kin in San Francisco of the late 1950s, where most of this rich, engrossing novel is set. Concealing his own political past, MJ openly disapproves of his son Joe, a lawyer who supports the IRA. And angry, impatient, argumentative Joe showers bombastic criticism on his own son, 11-year-old Patrick, who hangs out with black-clad beatniks and resists paternal efforts to mold him into "a good Catholic." Wives play rather shadowy roles in this story, moderating their spouses' obduracy. Still, Clarke ( The Day Nothing Happened ) has fashioned a probing, amazingly vivid portrait of an Irish-American family seething with emotional, political and intergenerational conflict.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

This coming-of-age tale, set in San Francisco in the 1950s, is the second novel by the author of The Day Nothing Happened ( LJ 8/88). The narrative follows 11-year-old Patrick Pearse as he swings emotionally between the comforting rituals of Catholicism and the anarchic appeal of the city's beatnik culture. Complicating this internal struggle is the tug-of-war between the two people most important in his life. His grandfather, trying to assuage guilt about his criminal life with the Irish Republican Brotherhood decades earlier, condemns his father's support of the modern IRA. Clarke has blended these elements into an engaging narrative with appealing characters and contemporary relevance. Recommended for all serious fiction collections.
- A.J. Wright, Univ. of Alabama, Birmingham
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (May 23, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 034537567X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345375674
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.2 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,584,154 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Terence Clarke is the director of publishing at Astor & Lenox (www.astorandlenox.com). He is also a novelist (Mercury House, Ballantine Books), a short-story writer (The Yale Review, The Antioch Review,The Chariton Review, Kindle Singles and many others), a journalist (San Francisco Chronicle, Salon.com, Huffington Post), and a translator of literature from Spanish to English. Among his favorite authors, he mentions Jane Austen, Frank O'Connor, and Eduardo Galeano. (His absolute favorite novel is Pride and Prejudice.) His own novels include My Father in the Night, The King of Rumah Nadai, and A Kiss for Señor Guevara. His short-story collections include The Day Nothing Happened, Little Bridget and the Flames of Hell, and New York (which will be published in 2015).

"There has never really been a time when I haven't been writing," he says. "When I was a student, I was very influenced by the life styles of the Romantics, and went around with a manufactured scowl on my face, bearing the poetic weight of the world. It didn't hurt that I was living in San Francisco at the time, and could emulate the Beatniks I saw worrying publically about their manuscripts in local cafés. As I began publishing my work, though, I discovered --more truthfully-- that I love the process of writing. The puzzle of telling a story. The searching for, and the creation, of a memorable character. The exploration of feeling, the fine pleasure of bringing a story to fruition. Writing's tough. But now, it is simply a joyful undertaking for me."

Clarke still lives in San Francisco. His new novel, The Notorious Dream of Jesús Lázaro, was published on February 1, 2015.

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