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Synopsis

This is the 1987 international, award-winning bestseller that broke the silence on incest, now with a new Afterword by the author. 

Sylvia Fraser was a bubbly child, a popular teenager, and an award-winning journalist. Yet, from the age of seven, she unknowingly shared her body with a ‘twin’ who lived a separate life from her. This Other Self was created to do the things that the child Sylvia was too frightened, too ashamed, too repelled to do - the secret things her father made her do.  For four decades Sylvia had no knowledge of this sexual relationship with her father. Her astonishing memoir reveals how she broke through amnesia to discover and embrace the tortured self she left behind.  This is a testament to courage, and to the ability and wisdom of forgiving others in order to forgive one’s self. 

“Extraordinary. . . .As telling a chronicle of the times as The Catcher in the Rye or To Kill a Mocking Bird. . . .a stunning example of what could be done to change society through the effecting, self-observing, literary enterprise of victims.. . . .Sylvia Fraser demonstrates that the cycle of abuse can stop with the victim only when she decides to cast off the role” - Jill Johnston, New York Times Book Review

“My Father’s House has the tension and pace of a detective novel - except that the detective is part of the narrator’s self, and so is the murder victim.  A beautifully written and ultimately healing story by an amazing and courageous woman” - Margaret Atwood, author

“Haunting, courageous and compelling. . . .Fraser  recreates the emotional and psychological impact of father-daughter with exacting (and sometimes shocking) realism, but the true strength of this book is the sheer artfulness of its prose. . .  . a literary tour de force.”- Boston Herald

“This is a rare piece of writing that combines in a visceral way the powerlessness and terror of being a child at the mercy of a frequently unjust adult world. . . .Sylvia Fraser has truly traveled into her own heart of darkness, unraveled a story of terrible pain and ugliness and, most remarkable of all, woven the threads together again with rare eloquence, compassion and bravery. . . .This is a book about fear - whatever its origins - and a book about secrets.  About the way those twin demons can immobilize a person. Finally, though, My Father’s House is about vanquishing those demons and laying them to rest. This is an extraordinary book” - Joyce Maynard, Mademoiselle

“Suspenseful and accessible. . . .[By] balancing a journalist’s reporting skills with a novelist’s style and imagination, Fraser has created a stunning psychological portrait of herself as a child. . . . Here is a strong woman strongly fighting to be whole” - Middlesex News

“A moving personal story. . . .Fraser turns her experience into compelling detective work. . . .It also adds an important piece to the puzzle of human experience” - Kansas City Star

“Brave. . . .It reads like a compelling mystery”- Self 

“Powerful. . . .[an] intense and searching memoir to which Fraser brings literary gifts, vital insights, and a remarkable capacity for forgiveness. . . . Her continuing candor is exemplary; she has transformed tragic circumstances into a compelling work and restored herself as well”- Kirkus Reviews

“Fraser has written a moving memoir. . . . Chilling and eloquent. . .a testament to the fact that she has finally made herself whole”- Philadelphia Inquirer

“A passionate testament. . . . Overwhelmingly intimate and rigorously honest. . . . This memoir is remarkable as a chronicle not only of a child’s innocence, but also as a record of the times ” - Globe and Mail

“My Father’s House offers a rare double gift - unmasking a terrible evil and showing how its legacy of pain can be assuaged” - Maclean's Magazine

“A stunning powerful memoir. . . .Fraser tells her story with eloquence, compassion, and almost unbearable candor. Her literary skill recaptures a child’s understanding; contemplates her conflicted adolescence; and faces, finally, the healing process”- Library Journal

“Sylvia Fraser brings a dimension and insight that perhaps only a gifted writer can add. . . .At times almost lyrically moving”- Toronto Sun

 “Sylvia Fraser’s  biography is told with compassion and honesty” - Books in Canada

“My Father’s House by Sylvia Fraser is a unique book. I have never come across its like before, the story of a fragmented human being searching alone to find the mystery of her own incompleteness. It is a frightening book because it reveals so clearly how fragile both consciousness and memory are, and how brutish violence can sever the self; it is a courageous book. . .about pain and grief and yet, about love.  A moving book written with dignity and restraint. A beautiful book” -  novelist Adele Wiseman

“It’s just stunning.  It knocked me for a loop” - broadcaster  Peter Gzowski

“The minefields of childhood have rarely been explored with such devastating effect. Sylvia Fraser has shown great courage in writing My Father’s House and even greater courage in allowing its publication” - novelist Timothy Findley

“Writing this book was a singular act of courage. . .and the result is a book of extraordinary power” - NOW Magazine

“Hauntingly real and emotionally draining. . . .Fraser tells her story with poignancy and courage”- Windsor Star

“Sylvia Fraser has pulled all the stops in terms of honesty, candor, and forthrightness. . . . It is a book that evokes tears and demands attention.  Read it”- Jack McClelland, publisher

“So skillfully crafted that this reader found it almost impossible to put down”- Toni McNaron, Women’s Review of Books

“Splendidly crafted and hypnotic”-  Toronto Star

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