The Lost Father by Mona Simpson

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Synopsis

In her highly acclaimed first novel, Anywhere But Here, Simpson created one of the most astute yet vulnerable heroines in contemporary fiction. Now Mayan Atassi--once Mayan Stevenson--returns in an immensely powerful novel about love and lovelessness, fathers and fatherlessness, and the loyalties that shape us even when they threaten to destroy us.

Now a woman of twenty-eight and finally on her own in medical school, Mayan becomes obsessed with the father she never knew, leading her to hire detectives to dredge up the past, thus eroding her savings, ruining her career, and flirting with madness in a search spanning two continents.

"Ratifies the achievement of Anywhere But Here, attesting to its author's...dazzling literary gift and uncommon emotional wisdom."
--New York Times

"A breathtaking piece of fiction; Simpson is a writer who can break our heart and mend it in the same sentence."
--Cleveland Plain Dealer


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Mona Simpson

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Simpson's work has been translated into fourteen languages. She is a recipient of the Whiting Writer's Award, a Guggenheim grant and the Hodder Fellowship at Princeton University. Since 1988 she has taught at Bard College, where she is now the Sadie Samuelson Levy Professor of Languages and Literature. In 1996 she received a grant from the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Foundation and was selected as one of Granta's Best Young American Novelists.
 
Published August 10, 2011 by Vintage. 524 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Lost Father

Kirkus Reviews

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Mayan eventually learns to obsess about Tiffany pearls instead of love and becomes ``more like anybody else.'' It's hard to build a novel around a man no one knows, so Simpson offers a multitude of characters and flashbacks as context for Mayan's personal development: memories of her Wisconsin gr...

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Publishers Weekly

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Again displaying the assurance revealed in her remarkable first novel, Anywhere But Here , Simpson continues to chronicle the life of her protagonist Ann Stevenson, now in her late 20s, who has reassu

Jan 01 1992 | Read Full Review of The Lost Father

Publishers Weekly

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Again displaying the assurance revealed in her remarkable first novel, Anywhere But Here , Simpson continues to chronicle the life of her protagonist Ann Stevenson, now in her late 20s, who has reassumed her birth name, Mayan Atassi.

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Entertainment Weekly

Mayan recognizes herself as one of those distracted children ''who lose their rings and their gloves, their keys, the same children who themselves get lost in department stores...They are the children who are waiting, in their hectic way, for something.'' What Mayan has chiefly lost ...

Feb 14 1992 | Read Full Review of The Lost Father

People

That man is Mayan's father, who left her in the care of her mother when Mayan was about 8.

Mar 09 1992 | Read Full Review of The Lost Father

London Review of Books

Although by the end of Mona Simpson’s novel we are in no doubt as to the seriousness of her themes or her genuine gift for plot, a huge amount of the surface texture of her book is taken up with the kind of homespun detail and domestic minutiae which we associate with the American minimalist writ...

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