Shadow of Doubt: My Father and Myself
Bystander Press, $24.95 pb, 208 pp
Richard Freadman’s first work intended for a non-academic readership is, in his own words, ‘the Son’s Book of the Father’ and thus belongs to a venerable genre. Freadman, whose contribution to our understanding of autobiography has been acute, is well qualified to draw on this tradition in portraying his own father and analysing their relationship. Along the way, he discusses memoirists such as John Stuart Mill, Edmund Gosse and Henry James.
Shadow of Doubt: My Father and Myself can’t have been an easy book to write. Few family memoirs are, if their authors are honest about their families and themselves. Freadman knows that autobiography is a ‘chancy recollective escapade’. ‘My father,’ he writes, ‘was an extremely, an impressively complex man, and there is no single “key” to a life like this.’