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The Lost Father by Mona Simpson
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The Lost Father (1992)

by Mona Simpson

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This novel takes place five years after the events in Anywhere But Here. Mayan, the daughter in the earlier novel,(yes her name was changed) is now a medical student in her late twenties living an unexciting, life in New York City.Mayan becomes obsessed with the search for her father, who abandoned the family. She spends all her savings on the services of a sleazy detective who never gets her close to her goal; she lets her studies, her friendships, and even her health fall by the way-side seemingly without realizing it. Simpson offers a wrenching and provocative portrait of a truly dysfunctional family, her writing is straightforward and often beautifully poetic.
I found myself caught up in Mayan's whirlpool of unresolved feelings for both parents. She knows she has "issues" but cannot manage get past them. As she is only 28 at the time of this writing, it is not difficult to understand her depression, anger and feeling of loss and abandonment.
I highly recommend The Lost Father . ( )
  siubhank | Nov 5, 2007 |
"...it's a superb book. Whatever the reader's hesitations, a wave of wanting to know does start building; it does become urgent that we see if Mayan ever finds her father and, if so, what happens next. And the portrait of Mayan that emerges is marvelous in its acuity and richness. "The thing I still love best about us, my mother and me," she says, "is that we wanted so." Ms. Simpson evokes precisely the gritty and visceral intensity of that need."
added by LiteraryFiction | editNew York Times, Jim Shepard (pay site) (Feb 9, 1992)
 
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0679733035, Paperback)

In her highly acclaimed first novel, Anywhere But Here, Simpson created one of the most astute yet vulnerable heroines in contemporary fiction. Now Mayan Atassi--once Mayan Stevenson--returns in an immensely powerful novel about love and lovelessness, fathers and fatherlessness, and the loyalties that shape us even when they threaten to destroy us.

Now a woman of twenty-eight and finally on her own in medical school, Mayan becomes obsessed with the father she never knew, leading her to hire detectives to dredge up the past, thus eroding her savings, ruining her career, and flirting with madness in a search spanning two continents.

"Ratifies the achievement of Anywhere But Here, attesting to its author's...dazzling literary gift and uncommon emotional wisdom."
--New York Times

"A breathtaking piece of fiction; Simpson is a writer who can break our heart and mend it in the same sentence."
--Cleveland Plain Dealer

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:23 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Mayan Atassi--once Mayan Stevenson--returns in an immensely powerful novel about love and lovelessness, fathers and fatherlessness, and the loyalties that shape us even when they threaten to destroy us. Now a woman of twenty-eight and finally on her own in medical school, Mayan becomes obsessed with the father she never knew, leading her to hire detectives to dredge up the past, thus eroding her savings, ruining her career, and flirting with madness in a search spanning two continents.… (more)

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