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Download My Father before Me: A Memoir Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample My Father before Me: A Memoir, by Chris Forhan Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Chris Forhan Narrator: George Newbern Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2016 ISBN: 9781508222255
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An award-winning poet offers a multigenerational portrait of an American family—weaving together the lives of his ancestors, his parents, and his own coming of age in the 1960s and ’70s in the wake of his father’s suicide, in this superbly written, “fiercely honest” (Nick Flynn) memoir.

The fifth of eight children, Chris Forhan was born into a family of silence. He and his siblings learned, without being told, that certain thoughts and feelings were not to be shared. On the evenings his father didn’t come home, the rest of the family would eat dinner without him, his whereabouts unknown, his absence pronounced but not mentioned. And on a cold night in 1973, just before Christmas, Forhan’s father killed himself in the carport.

Forty years later, Forhan bravely considers the way he is and is not his father’s son, digging into his family’s past, and finding within each generation the same abandonment, loss, and silence in which he was raised. Like Ian Frazier in Family or Frank McCourt in Angela’s Ashes, Forhan shows his family members as both a part and a product of their time.

My Father before Me is a family history, an investigation into a death, and a stirring portrait of growing up in an Irish Catholic childhood, all set against a backdrop of America from the Great Depression to the Ramones.

Marrying the literary scope of memoirists Geoffrey Wolff and J. R. Moehringer with the intensity of family novels like The Corrections and We Are Not Ourselves, My Father before Me is the kind of epic, immersive memoir that comes along once in a decade.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Beautifully written.”

    Seattle Times

  • “Achingly beautiful…a triumph.”

    Buffalo News

  • “A wonderfully engrossing book. Essential for all parents and children, that is, all people.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “In the tradition of Geoffrey Wolff…a powerful family story.”


  • “Forhan’s aching, lyrical memoir excavates both a lost father and a lost era in American history.”


  • “George Newbern expertly delivers Forhan’s memoir. His voice for the author reflects the various stages of his life, finding meaning in memories…The premise of the memoir suggests a somber experience for the listener, but Newbern’s performance is filled with both light and dark textures as Forhan examines his family’s unspoken rules of conduct about what is discussed openly and what is left unsaid.”


  • A Library Journal Best Books of the Year Selection
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