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Bureau of Missing Persons – Writing the Secret Lives of Fathers - Cornell Scholarship Online
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Bureau of Missing Persons: Writing the Secret Lives of Fathers

Roger J. Porter


There has been a noticeable and surprising number of memoirs recently published by adult children whose fathers have led secret lives. Some of the fathers had second families; some had secret religious lives; others have been criminals, liars, or con men. This book explores the phenomenon in great depth. It examines a large number of these works, placing them in a wide literary and cultural context and considering the ethical quandaries writers face when they reveal secrets so long and closely held. Among the books the book treats are Paul Auster's The Invention of Solitude, Alison Bechdel's g ... More

Keywords: memoirs, autobiographies, secret lives, fathers, secrets and secrecy, deception, memory voids, parents

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2011 Print ISBN-13: 9780801449871
Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016 DOI:10.7591/cornell/9780801449871.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Roger J. Porter, author
Professor of English, Reed College