The author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull provides the introduction to a work in which his son describes his yearning for his absent father, the anguish he felt about his father's actions, and their reunion. 100,000 first printing. $100,000 ad/promo.
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An abandoned son comes to terms with a famous father (Richard Bach, author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull) in a memoir that mixes a moving account of a child's confused loyalties and sense of loss with a m‚lange of self-help truisms. Named after the seagull hero, the author never really knew his father until his senior year in college, when his decision to write an initially hostile book about his dad began a dialogue between the two. Bach pŠre left his family when the youngest of his six children was nine months old and Jonathan only two, ``because he didn't believe in marriage and couldn't be a father anymore.'' And because Richard Bach apparently also didn't believe in birthdays, Christmas, or any of the holidays marked by cards and calls, the children never heard from him. Their mother, a remarkably accomplished woman, moved the family to Vermont, where she later remarried. The author's fierce love and admiration for her made it difficult for him to forgive his father, especially when he learned that Richard was involved with other women. In time, the older children made contact, and then met, with their father, and the young author even sent him some stories of his own--yet anger and anguished inability to understand his father prevented both reconciliation and acceptance. But after Jonathan found Richard's response to his proposed book to be surprisingly supportive, the tentative rapprochement became a complete reconciliation as the son flew out to Seattle to meet his father. As they talked, the author found that his ``misconceptions had dissolved'' and that he'd become ``a distant-son-turned-understanding-friend who, like millions of other people, likes what [Richard] has to say, and how he says it.'' Bach affectingly evokes the anguish of a fatherless childhood- -but less so the reconciliation, as he self-consciously glosses over behavior that, despite high-sounding talk, still seems inexcusable. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Publishers Weekly:
In 1970, newly rich and famous from the success of Jonathan Livingston Seagull , Richard Bach, Jonathan Bach's father, left his wife, Bette, and their six children when Jonathan was two. "Jonny," who was named after the improbable bird, here tells about life in the fractured family after his father's "daddy-part died," as Bette put it. The boy grew up thinking dads were "redundant" and was content working with his mother, a pilot who sold airplane rides at fields in New England. After his mother married a draconian taskmaster, Jonny clung closer still to Bethany, his younger sister and best friend. But when Jonny was 16, he was at the wheel during a car crash that injured him--and killed Bethany. His father and his second wife, Leslie, seemed to ignore the tragedy, deepening Jonny's resentment and sense of abandonment. Yet readers will sense the coming rapprochement. Swayed by Richard and Leslie's side of the story, Jonny now lives near them in Seattle, far from his mother in Vermont. His writing debut is promising if naive and too long, unfortunately showing the influence of his father, who supplies a gushy afterword.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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