New Memoir: Not My Father’s Son – Alan Cumming

The charming and multi-talented Mr. Cumming conquers yet another art form in this unconventional and deeply moving memoir. Eschewing the typical linear format of most celebrity memoirs, Cumming moves from his past to his present within chapters, integrating stories from his childhood and his current life as a film, television, and theater actor. The result negotiates a lot of territory. The result is suspenseful, dark and frequently funny.

In this small excerpt, Cumming read from the book about the violence in his family.

 

In a longer summary, he talks about the book at BEA last May.

 

As you might imagine there will be lots of publicity. There will be a piece in the NYT Sunday Styles section in October. People will run a two-page interview with online video; ABC/Nightline and Reuters will do interviews; and the book was also included in USA Today’s Fall Preview.

Equal parts memoir, whodunnit, and manual for living, Not My Father’s Son is a beautifully written, honest look at the forces of blood and bone that make us what we are, and how we make ourselves. I was completely sucked in.”
— Neil Gaiman

“Scottish actor Cumming struggles to reconcile with his troubled past in this moving, if oddly structured, memoir. Alternating between three time periods—’Then,’ ‘Now,’ and a span of several months in 2010—Cumming recounts his life on a rural Scottish estate under the brutal reign of his abusive father….In a parallel narrative, Cumming…is determined to delve into his family history: and find out what happened to his maternal grandfather, Lieutenant Tommy Darling, who served his country in WWII and ended up suspiciously dead several years later in Malaysia, where he was a member of the police force. While the particulars Cumming learns about Darling are striking and memorable, this really is a case where the journey is more important than the destination.”
Publishers Weekly

“I just finished the memoir and have to say, it was remarkable. What an incredible story. I’ve enjoyed Cumming’s acting in a variety of roles so when I saw the galley I snatched it up without a second thought. Even just the first few pages in, I was hooked. His writing made me feel like I was right there experiencing these things with him. He wrote in a way that the reader could feel his pain and sadness and trepidation. Really brilliant. The book had me up until the very end, wondering how it would resolve, what kind of closure would follow. The story is so amazing, it seems like it could be a work of fiction, the fact that it isn’t gives the book real gravity. When the book comes to the store I will eagerly recommend it.”
—Audra Strahl, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Lexington, KY

Not My Father’s Son: A Memoir (9780062225061) by Alan Cumming. $26.99 hardcover. 10/7/14 on sale.

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