After Visiting Friends: A Son’s Story

Michael Hainey, Author
Michael Hainey. Scribner, $25 (320p) ISBN 978-1-4516-7656-3
Reviewed on: 01/07/2013
Release date: 02/19/2013
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-4516-7662-4
MP3 CD - 978-1-4526-6301-2
Compact Disc - 978-1-4526-1301-7
Compact Disc - 978-1-4526-4301-4
Hardcover - 382 pages - 978-1-61173-823-0
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-4676-5953-6
Paperback - 299 pages - 978-1-4516-7661-7
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Six-year-old Hainey woke one morning to a knock on the door of his family’s house in Chicago; Hainey’s uncle delivered the news that Michael’s 35-year-old father, Bob, a reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times, had been found dead of an apparent heart attack. What happened to him? Why had he been out so late and not at home? Bob Hainey’s obituary indicates that the newspaperman was visiting friends; who were these friends? In this heartfelt memoir, Hainey painfully reconstructs the few years he recalls with his father and painstakingly searches for clues that might help him understand his father’s death. When he turns 35, Hainey sets off on a quest to interview as many of his father’s friends as will talk to him, to review all the published details of his father’s death, and to discover what his father was really like. Along the way, “instead of conjuring my father dying alone, he sees this alternate, secret narrative: him, friends, far from home, late at night....” Eventually, he discovers a disturbing secret that his mother has long kept silent, grappling to understand this new dimension of his parents’ lives and resigning himself to having discovered a side of his father he never knew. (Feb.)
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