cover of book

Fatherless: A Memoir
by Keith Maillard
West Virginia University Press, 2019
eISBN: 978-1-949199-14-7 | Paper: 978-1-949199-13-0
Library of Congress Classification PR9199.3.M345Z46 2019
Dewey Decimal Classification 813.54


This story begins with a phone call out of the blue: a lawyer tells a writer that his ninety-six-year-old father, with whom he has had no contact since the age of three and whom he has twice tried to find without success, has just died, leaving him nothing. Half-reluctant, half-fascinated, both angry and curious, Keith Maillard begins to research his father’s life. The result is a suspenseful work of historical reconstruction—a social history often reading like a detective story—as well as a psychologically acute portrait of the impact of a father’s absence. Walking a tightrope between the known and the unknown, and following a trail that takes him from Vancouver to Montreal to his native Wheeling, West Virginia, Keith Maillard has pulled off a book that only a novelist of his stature could write.

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