Not My Father's Son - A Family Memoir
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
In his unique and engaging voice, the acclaimed actor of stage and screen shares the emotional story of his complicated relationship with his father and the deeply buried family secrets that shaped his life and career.
A beloved star of stage, television, and film--"one of the most fun people in show business" (Time magazine)--Alan Cumming is a successful artist whose diversity and fearlessness is unparalleled. His success masks a painful childhood growing up under the heavy rule of an emotionally and physically abusive father--a relationship that tormented him long into adulthood.
When television producers in the UK approached him to appear on a popular celebrity genealogy show in 2010, Alan enthusiastically agreed. He hoped the show would solve a family mystery involving his maternal grandfather, a celebrated WWII hero who disappeared in the Far East. But as the truth of his family ancestors revealed itself, Alan learned far more than he bargained for about himself, his past, and his own father.
With ribald humor, wit, and incredible insight, Alan seamlessly moves back and forth in time, integrating stories from his childhood in Scotland and his experiences today as a film, television, and theater star. At times suspenseful, deeply moving, and wickedly funny, Not My Father's Son will make readers laugh even as it breaks their hearts.
'One of the most memorable, heart-stopping autobiographies I have ever read' STEPHEN FRY
* 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 * What a shattering, compelling and extraordinary story Alan Cumming has to tell. And he does so with such style and grace ... Beautifully and cunningly structured, Not My Father's Son is one of the most memorable, heart-stopping autobiographies I have ever read -- STEPHEN FRY * Do you know the old line "I laughed, I cried, it became a part of me"? Alan Cumming's moving memoir Not My Father's Son is all that and more. This is a beautiful book-sad, funny, haunting, surprising, suspenseful, gut-wrenching, endearing. It will linger inside of you long after you turn the final page -- HARLAN COBEN author of New York Times bestsellers MISSING YOU and SIX YEARS * In beautiful, honest, arresting prose, he offers a tale you'll never forget. A real diamond of a book. -- ANDREW O'HAGAN * Incredibly affecting -- DAMIAN BARR, Books of the Year Herald * A poignant chronicle of damage sustained in youth and his recovery -- MARIELLA FROSTRUP Observer * Powerful ... the result is both heart-breaking and brave ... A thoroughly gripping read, one that keeps its biggest revelation until the very end Sunday Times * A clear-eyed, often moving account of both his terrifying childhood and his recent attempts to come to terms with his past [...] Not My Father's Son moves elegantly and with an occasional dash of humour between Cumming's childhood and the revelations of the more recent past [...] memorable Chicago Tribune * One of the most fun people in show business Time * Cumming's eccentric style and assured voice shine brightly on every page, while escorting readers and fans on a memorable journey that is simultaneously insightful, brave, moving, and witty Book List * Not My Father's Son shows Cumming to be a particularly skilled storyteller. His personal story is spun out in a thrillingly mysterious way ... in this deeply touching memoir, Cumming has certainly marked himself out as one of our bravest and most perceptive writers, and an unexpected literary talent The List * Powerful and shocking ... That he can write isn't a surprise ... He delves into his own history and leaves no stone unturned, no dark corner unprodded ... What Cumming knows better than most is that you can never tell from the surface what's going on beneath Scotland on Sunday * An open and honest memoir with some extraordinary twists Easyjet Traveller * Powerful Big Issue * Compelling ... a frank, twisting book ... a page-turner Metro * A brave and thoughtful book Spectator * Cumming's bravery is breathtaking ... this is a brave book, airing fundamental agonies of the human condition with as light a touch as is possibly possible Sunday Express * Best of all, [Not My Father's Son's] emotional intelligence is high Glasgow Sunday Herald * Cumming is a good writer and keeps us guessing ... the book grips like a neo-noir thriller ... He knits together the various strands of his life with remarkable assurance. The occasional flashes of lightness in the dark, the few, very few, happy times with his father glow like embers, only to be extinguished by the overwhelming memory of the dark beast that kept him in a constant state of terror ... What might have been a misery memoir is anything but. The bracing honesty and humour plus the fact that there is not a scintilla of self-pity makes this a tremendously encouraging book Daily Express * A poignant chronicle of damage sustained in youth and his recovery -- MARIELLA FROSTRUP Observer * This year's best memoir The List * A haunting family history woven with empathy for his soldier grandfather but without a trace of self-pity about his abusive father Independent on Sunday, Best Memoirs of 2014 * A brilliantly vivid and heartrending account of Cumming's early life, interspersed with some well-observed, comic and intriguing scenes from his more recent past Sunday Business Post * A great read Connaught Telegraph
Alan Cumming is an award-winning actor, singer, writer, producer and director. He recently starred in an acclaimed one-man staging of Macbeth on Broadway, and appears on the Emmy Award-winning television show The Good Wife. He won a Tony Award for his portrayal of the Emcee in the Broadway musical Cabaret, a role he has reprised in 2014. He hosts PBS Masterpiece Mystery and has appeared in numerous films, including Spy Kids, Titus, X2: X-Men United, The Anniversary Party, Any Day Now and Eyes Wide Shut. He is also the author of a novel, Tommy's Tale.